The weekend arrest of a Poplar Bluff, Mo., man following a traffic crash may result in him facing assault charges after his alleged actions sent two officers to the hospital and injured a third.
Poplar Bluff Police Patrolman Danny Hicks was knocked unconscious while attempting to subdue Ryan Aaron McVaugh, who later allegedly choked Butler County Cpl. Brandon Lowe at the Butler County Justice Center. Another deputy, Wade Dare, also was injured while attempting to assist Lowe.
Hicks and Dare were treated and released from Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.
Hicks, who did not suffer a concussion after being unconscious for "just a few seconds," will "probably have a headache for a while," according to Deputy Chief Jeff Rolland.
Dare suffered a fractured knuckle and is being referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further treatment.
At about 7:35 p.m. Sunday, Patrolman Billy Duckett reportedly was sent to the 900 block of West Pine Street in reference to a motor-vehicle crash.
According to Duckett's report, he made contact with McVaugh at the scene.
"During the course of the investigation, it was determined that McVaugh had been drinking and (Patrolman Danny) Hicks administered field-sobriety tests," Duckett said.
After completing the field-sobriety tests, Duckett said, McVaugh was told to place his hands behind his back as he was under arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
"McVaugh stated he was not going to jail," said Duckett.
Hicks, Duckett said, attempted to handcuff McVaugh, who allegedly began to struggle.
Hicks placed McVaugh onto the ground in an "attempt to subdue him," said Duckett, who was assisting Hicks in handcuffing McVaugh.
"While escorting McVaugh to the car, he again became combative, attempting to head butt" Hicks, Duckett explained.
As the officers were attempting to subdue McVaugh, Duckett said, they all "went to the ground.
"Upon falling to the ground, Hicks struck the back of his head on the concrete, knocking him unconscious."
At that point, Duckett said, he requested assistance and McVaugh of the 1900 block of Raulston was arrested on a municipal failure to appear warrant for driving while intoxicated, driving left of center, careless and imprudent driving, no seat belt and running a stop sign, a warrant for parole violation on an original charge of fraud/insufficient funds and on suspicion of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer.
As McVaugh was being booked at the police station, Duckett said, the 26-year-old requested medical attention due to head, shoulder and knee pain.
Duckett said McVaugh was taken to the emergency room for treatment, and upon being "deemed fit for confinement," he was booked at the Butler County jail.
While checking jail records early Monday morning, Lowe said, he saw where McVaugh had been arrested by the police department.
According to Lowe's report, he knew McVaugh was a suspect in a case Sgt. Brandon Waggoner and Deputy Bo Skinner were working on.
After contacting Waggoner, Lowe said, he had jail personnel bring McVaugh to an interview room for questioning in regards to a Feb. 12 incident, which occurred at Crossroads Convenience.
When Lowe and Dare entered the room, he said, McVaugh, who was seated at the table, was cuffed with his hands in front of him, just above the table. McVaugh, he said, signed a written waiver of his rights at 1:48 a.m.
"McVaugh was non-compliant from the very beginning," Lowe said. "He began telling me that the report was wrong and that he had a court date" for the time the incident had occurred.
Lowe said he told McVaugh he had "just a few more questions" for him, at which time, McVaugh allegedly "jumped up and grabbed my right shoulder and was attempting to choke me.
"I placed McVaugh on the ground, landing on top of him. I was giving McVaugh commands to let go of me and to stop resisting."
McVaugh, he said, allegedly failed to comply.
"I then began administering forearm strikes to McVaugh's neck and shoulder area," Lowe said. "While doing this, I was still giving McVaugh commands to let go, and he was still fighting and resisting."
Dare, Lowe said, began to assist him and also told McVaugh to let go of Lowe; however, McVaugh allegedly continued to resist and wouldn't let go.
"As I was attempting to maneuver behind McVaugh to restrict him movements, McVaugh still had a hold of my neck and shoulder area and was attempting to get his hands to my throat," Lowe explained.
Dare, according to Lowe, "applied force" to McVaugh's upper neck area, which caused McVaugh to let go of Lowe.
McVaugh was then placed on his stomach, said Lowe, who had jail personnel retrieve McVaugh and return him to his cell.
After assisting jailers with McVaugh, Dare reported to Lowe that he believed "his hand was broken due to him striking McVaugh."
Dare subsequently sought treatment at the emergency room.
"We were advised that Deputy Dare's knuckle on his right hand was fractured," Lowe said. "The ER advised they would refer Deputy Dare to an orthopedic surgeon."
When Lowe asked how long an injury, such as Dare's, would take to heal, he said, he was told six to eight weeks.
McVaugh also is being held on suspicion of a second count of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer for his alleged actions in the interview room.