An area man faces charges after allegedly evading police and assaulting a police K9 during the pursuit.
Samuel Wells, 43, of Leadwood, was charged with resisting/interfering with an arrest for a felony, assault on a police animal, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner involving an accident, and exceeding the posted speed limit by 20 to 25 mph.
According to a probable cause statement from the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy spotted Wells driving a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck on Jan. 29. The deputy states he was aware that Wells had an active no-bond parole warrant for a felony offense and attempted to pull the vehicle over. However, Wells reportedly accelerated the truck, and a chase ensued.
The pursuit began outside of Farmington on Highway 221, at speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour, continuing onto Bray Road and through a business parking lot where Wells reportedly drove around at a high rate of speed and almost struck several vehicles.
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The report further states the officers then pursued the truck onto Buck Mountain Road, where Wells reportedly lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree before fleeing on foot. Two deputies told the man to stop running, but he continued to flee.
One of the deputies deployed his K9 to assist in capturing the fleeing man. The dog alerted to the presence of a person near the riverbank. The deputy reportedly gave three very loud and clear commands for Wells to come out and show his hands, or else the dog would be released to retrieve him.
The report states that Wells refused to comply and deputies released the dog. Wells then reportedly punched the K9 in the head while ignoring commands from the deputies to stop hitting the dog and stop resisting. Wells continued resisting while the deputies attempted to place him in handcuffs.
EMS was called to treat Wells for dog bites and exposure to cold water and weather before he was transported to the St. Francois County Jail and booked on the charges. The state requested a bond of $20,000 cash or surety.
The K9, Teo, was not injured.
The criminal complaint filed Monday states that Wells is a persistent offender having been convicted in Ste. Genevieve County of felony possession of a controlled substance in January 2015, and again in November 2016 in St. Francois County.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org