Man gets 6 years for gun incident with Steamboat police

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Rodney Williams III

— A man has been sentenced to six years in prison for eluding Steamboat Springs Police Department officers and trying to take one of their guns.

Rodney Williams III, 24, was in custody Thursday when he appeared before District Judge Shelley Hill at the Routt County Justice Center. His trial was scheduled to begin next month, but Williams chose to take a deal offered by the Routt County District Attorney’s Office.

Police said that at about 2 a.m. Jan. 20, 2011, Williams tried to flee from them 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 police said he resisted arrest.

Officers testified during a preliminary hearing that when the they tried to put Williams in handcuffs, Williams grabbed an officer’s leg. During a scuffle, an officer tried to use his Taser on Williams six times, but it did not disable him. At one point, the officer testified that Williams tried to grab the Taser in addition to another officer’s sidearm.

That is when the officers began punching Williams, but Williams continued resisting arrest, an officer testified.

The District Attorney’s Office filed 13 charges against Williams. As part of the plea deal, Williams pleaded guilty to vehicular eluding and disarming a police officer. Both are Class 5 felonies.

"This is an appropriate outcome for an individual with prior felony convictions who sped away from a traffic stop and then fought with officers when he was apprehended," Assistant District Attorney Brett Barkey wrote in an email Thursday.

Williams will begin serving the six-year sentence after he completes a two-year sentence he currently is serving in the Colorado State Department of Corrections related to a crime in Weld County.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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