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Columbia man accused of assaulting law enforcement with tear gas

Law enforcement claims that an attempted traffic stop Monday to investigate an alleged stolen vehicle has led to felony assault charges against one man, and tampering and resisting accusations against a 16-year-old juvenile.

Columbia Police officers say that they attempted to pull over a car that allegedly was reported stolen. The investigatory stop was attempted near Highway 763 and Brown School Road. A Boone County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the area to back up the Columbia Police officers.

The deputy claims that when he arrived, he watched the officers chasing two males. The deputy apparently joined in the foot chase, choosing to pursue one of the men. Authorities claim that the foot chase turned into a three-way duel between law enforcement wielding Tasers and an 18-year-old Columbia, Missouri resident allegedly wielding a can of tear gas.

Law enforcement claims that the 18-year-old initiated the alleged duel, spraying the deputy with the gas. The deputy responded, using his Taser in an effort to subdue the teenager, according to Boone County officials. Apparently unfazed, law enforcement says that the teen sprayed more tear gas toward the deputy. A Columbia Police officer joined the alleged fray, deploying his Taser upon the teen.

The last Taser jolt apparently ended the alleged melee, as law enforcement arrested the 18-year-old. Authorities accuse the young man of second-degree assault on an officer. He also is facing charges of armed criminal action and resisting arrest.

Few details are known about the apprehension of a 16-year-old that law enforcement says is linked to the investigatory stop. The younger teen was turned over to juvenile authorities. Officials accuse the juvenile of tampering and resisting arrest.

Generally, assault of a law enforcement officer in Missouri is a felony level offense. Many provisions of the assault of a governmental worker or law enforcement officer may bring a mandatory sentence of time behind bars upon a conviction.

Source: ABC 17 News, “Columbia man arrested after spraying tear gas in deputy's face," May 21, 2013

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