Local woman in jail after allegedly kicking, nearly assaulting officers with walking stick

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A local woman was arrested after allegedly kicking and nearly assaulting police with a walking stick when they responded to reports of a reckless driver at a convenience store in St. George.

Melissa Myers-Hansen, 45, was arrested Friday evening and now faced multiple charges, including second-degree felony assault on police using force/weapon and five misdemeanor offenses, including one count of interfering with an arrest, disorderly disobey lawful order, unlawful detainment, assault on a police officer and criminal mischief, according to the affidavit filed with the court.

The arrest stems from an incident reported shortly before 7 p.m. Friday when officers responded to the Maverick Adventures First Stop on Hilton Drive on a reported traffic offense.

The 911 caller reported to emergency dispatch that a female, later identified as Hansen, 45, was getting in and out of her vehicle and “yelling at everybody” in the parking lot. The caller also said Hansen nearly struck him with her vehicle as she was yelling at him, the statement said.

The caller allegedly had to lock himself in his vehicle in order to keep her from getting to him. When officers arrived, they found the suspect’s vehicle parked with the front of the car facing the reporting party’s car, blocking him in, the officer noted in the report.

One of the officers was attempting to intervene while the second officer pulled into the gas station from the opposite side where he blocked the suspect’s car to prevent her from leaving. Hansen then got out of the vehicle and was ordered to sit on the curb.

Melissa Myers, 45, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, March 6, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

After speaking with the 911 caller, officers told the suspect they were deploying a K-9 to sniff around the vehicle. When the officer asked the suspect to move farther from the car to allow the dog room, she allegedly refused. When the officer ordered her to move, she continued sitting on the curb and asked the passenger to get her walking stick from the car.

The officer, not knowing if the suspect could walk unassisted or not, allowed the passenger to retrieve the walking stick, a wooden stick about 5 feet long and 4 inches wide with a tapered, pointed end from inside of the vehicle.

With the walking stick in hand, the suspect again allegedly refused to comply with the officer for a third time and told him “she did not have to listen” to him and appeared to become agitated and belligerent, the officer noted in the report. Police then advised her she was being detained.

“Due to her holding a potentially deadly weapon, which could easily cause serious bodily injury,” officers went behind the suspect in an attempt to detain her, according to the statement.

As they did so, the suspect spun around and attempted to swing the large stick at the officer while a second officer lunged forward and grabbed the stick that he had to “physically pry” out of the suspect’s hands.

After disarming Hansen, officers wrestled her to the ground as she continued to resist. During the scuffle, the suspect kicked one of the officers in the chest multiple times, snapping the body camera from his uniform and breaking it.  The report also states the suspect allegedly continued to grab at the officer’s belt where his duty weapon and Taser were located, attempts that were unsuccessful.

The suspect kicked the second officer multiple times, breaking the black glass screen of his body camera before additional officers arrived to assist. Once they arrived, Hansen was handcuffed and her legs were secured before she was placed in the police vehicle and transported to jail where she was booked on the above offenses.

During a second interview with the 911 caller, officers learned the suspect was initially observed driving recklessly, swerving in and out of traffic erratically before pulling into the parking lot at “a very high rate of speed, narrowly missing other vehicles,” the officer noted in the report.

Once in the parking lot, the suspect barely missed the caller as she accelerated while backing her vehicle up to his, almost hitting the man “multiple times” before blocking him in.

Police submitted the unlawful detainment charge since the caller was trapped in his car until officers arrived.

The suspect remains in custody on $9,580 bail.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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