Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Steamboat Springs The Routt County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday filed four additional charges against the man accused of assaulting a Steamboat Springs Police Department officer and trying to take another officer’s gun.
Rodney Williams III, 23, appeared Wednesday before Routt County Judge James Garrecht. Williams initially faced eight charges. The new charges are three counts of being a habitual criminal and one count of committing a crime of violence.
“They carry some pretty significant consequences so I want to give you time to figure out how you want to resolve this,” Garrecht told Williams during the court appearance.
The new charges are referred to as sentence enhancers and are allowed by state statue when a person has a criminal record.
Williams is being held on a $100,000 bond at Routt County Jail. He has been there since Jan. 20, the morning he was arrested.
Police contend that at about 2 a.m. on Jan. 20, Williams tried to flee from police in his truck on the west side of Steamboat Springs. Williams then jumped out of the truck and ran. Police caught up with Williams and he resisted arrest, police said.
During a scuffle, Williams tried to take Officer Scott Middleton’s gun, according to a sworn affidavit by Officer Doug Scherar. Scherar attempted to use his Taser on Williams, but Scherar said it didn’t work. Scherar wrote in the affidavit that he punched Williams several times in the head and was punched once himself by Williams.
Scherar wrote in the affidavit that Middleton’s hand was severely swollen after the fight and was X-rayed. Middleton and Scherar said they were treated for multiple abrasions and cuts.
Williams also was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center before being taken to jail.
Police Capt. Joel Rae on Wednesday said the officers used restraint when Williams went for Middleton’s gun.
“This was a deadly force situation, and all the officers’ actions in trying to get Mr. Williams into custody were justified,” Rae said.
Routt County Public Defender Sheryl Uhlmann, whose office is representing Williams, refused to comment Wednesday.
Sara Glenn, who attended Wednesday’s hearing and said she is Williams’ girlfriend, said they recently moved to Steamboat.
“He’s a great guy,” Glenn said. “He’s not violent.”
She said she does not think he would have hurt police officers.
“He knows better than that,” Glenn said.
The three new charges of being a habitual criminal are related to convictions in two other counties.
According to the Routt County District Attorney’s Office, Williams was convicted in August 2006 in Adams County of aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding and possession of less than 1 gram of a controlled substance. Williams also was convicted of forgery in Weld County in September 2006.
In addition to the four sentence-enhancing charges, the charges against Williams are felony second-degree assault, felony criminal attempt to commit disarming a peace officer, felony vehicular eluding, misdemeanor driving under the influence, misdemeanor resisting arrest, misdemeanor driving under restraint, illegal possession or consumption of alcohol in motor vehicle and defective vehicle headlights.
Williams is scheduled to appear again in Routt County Court at 1 p.m. Feb. 9.