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Pennsylvania man arrested after crashing through a park gate during police pursuit

Richard James Wagner | Bannock County Jail
POCATELLO — A Butler, Pennsylvania, man faces multiple charges, including two felonies, after allegedly trying to get away from local police while drunk.
Richard James Wagner Jr., 27, has been charged with felonies for attempting to flee an officer and driving under the influence, as well as misdemeanors for resisting arrest and driving with an open alcohol container, court records show. A possible attempt to run was stopped by the threat of a police K-9.
The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 8:15 p.m. Nov. 12 reporting a red Jeep Grand Cherokee driving erratically near Satterfield Drive, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The caller told dispatch that the bumper of the Jeep had fallen off and struck their vehicle on Interstate 15, causing significant damage.
Deputies responded to the call, pulling behind the Jeep and informing the driver, later identified as Wagner, that he was not free to leave.
While deputies were parked and preparing to approach the Jeep, the Jeep turned around, nearly striking another car driving in the opposite direction.
Deputies turned around and began to pursue. According to the affidavit, the Jeep drove over a raised median and cut in front of the car it had nearly hit while turning around. Wagner turned the Jeep into Sister City Park and continued toward the park, driving through and breaking the closed gate.
After crashing through the gate, the Jeep stopped, and Wagner got out.
Deputies also got out of their vehicles. They drew their guns and ordered Wagner to get on the ground.
“The driver, (who) was staggering as he exited his vehicle, just kept saying, ‘Shoot me,’ and he would not get down on the ground,” according to police reports.
One of the deputies allowed a K-9 to get out of the cruiser. The deputy told Wagner that if he did not get on the ground, the dog would be sent after him. Wagner then obeyed.
Deputies handcuffed Wagner. As deputies stood Wagner up, he struggled and tried to pull away. Wagner was forced back to the ground, where deputies held him until Pocatello police officers arrived with a wrap restraint — a device used to secure a person’s arms and legs.
According to police reports, when deputies forced Wagner to the ground, he hit his head and began to bleed. Deputies requested medical assistance from EMS.
Wagner admitted to drinking alcohol, the affidavit says. However, he refused a breath test. Offers obtained a warrant to obtain a blood draw for testing. Once the blood draw was taken, Wagner was taken to Bannock County Jail for booking and is being held on a $30,000 bond.
Once Wagner was secured, deputies spoke with the person who reported the incident.
The driver told deputies that they had been driving behind Wagner’s Jeep from McCammon. They said Wagner did not maintain his lane, kept going off the road and lost a bumper. Deputies noted damage to the hood and windshield of the victim’s car.
Deputies asked Wagner for his insurance information to provide to the victim. He allegedly informed officers that he had just bought the Jeep and that the title had not yet been transferred to his name, so it was not insured.
Deputies couldn’t find the missing bumper on the interstate.
Though Wagner has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
His preliminary hearing will be Nov. 28 will Magistrate Judge Carol “Tippi” Jarman.
The post Pennsylvania man arrested after crashing through a park gate during police pursuit appeared first on East Idaho News.

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