Man arrested after scuffle with Steamboat police
Police say man went for their guns after being pulled over
January 20, 2011
Steamboat Springs — A 23-year-old transient man was arrested early Thursday after he assaulted two officers and tried to take their guns, police said.
Steamboat Springs police Capt. Joel Rae said he wouldn't release details of "the scuffle" that occurred between Rodney Williams III and the two officers on the west side of town until police finished their investigation.
"It's very fortunate that no one got seriously injured," Rae said.
Rae said that at about 2 a.m. Thursday, an officer saw Williams driving a blue truck west on U.S. Highway 40 on the west side of town. The officer stopped the vehicle near Riverside Plaza because of a defective light.
Williams then stuck his head out the window and told the officer he was almost out of gas, Rae said. The officer told Williams to drive to Big O Tires. The man then went to 7-Eleven because he did not have a credit card to pay for gas at Big O, which was closed.
Police found that the man had five outstanding warrants and tried to stop the vehicle again. The truck made a U-turn, started going at a high speed and crashed into a snowbank along U.S. 40 near Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park, police said.
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The man jumped out of his vehicle and ran from police into a vacant field, Rae said. He said officers confronted the man and "that's where the scuffle began." During the altercation, two officers were assaulted and Williams tried to take their guns, Rae confirmed.
Minor injuries were reported, but Rae would not say whether the officers were treated at Yampa Valley Medical Center. Rae said Williams was taken to the hospital, checked out and then taken to jail.
Rae would not disclose the names of the officers involved. According to records at the Routt County Jail, officer Doug Scherar booked Williams into jail. The charges he was booked on include two counts of criminal attempt to disarm a police officer, two counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, vehicular eluding and driving under the influence of alcohol. Williams still was being held at the jail Thursday evening.
Rae said more details relating to the case might be released Monday.