OKEECHOBEE — Police were forced to taser a suspect who not only tried to run from them, but then became combative when three officers tried to arrest him.
An arrest report by an officer with the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD) also stated Thomas William McGill was in possession of 7.3 grams of crystal methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.
McGill, 34, Madison Trail, Okeechobee, was arrested by Officer Aurelio Almazan Tuesday, Aug. 11. He was arrested on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and resisting a law enforcement officer with violence, and misdemeanor charges of resisting a law enforcement officer without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail on $40,000 bond.
Officer Almazan indicated in his report that he came in contact with McGill due to a battery complaint lodged against the man. When the officer knocked on the door of a garage on N. Parrott Avenue, McGill came to the door.
But, when McGill saw Officer Almazan he reportedly shut the door and locked it behind him. McGill reportedly ran out the back door, and the foot chase was under way.
OCPD Detective James Pickering, Officer Victoria Davito and Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mark Margerum were all involved in the chase with Officer Almazan.
After chasing McGill for several blocks, Officer Almazan stated he approached the Okeechobee Commons apartments at 402 N.W. 10th St. and heard Detective Pickering yell, “he’s over here!”
“I walked toward the sound of Detective Pickering’s voice and observed McGill walking towards me,” stated Officer Almazan.
The officer went on to state he then saw something in McGill’s hands. That “something” was later found out to be three baggies containing suspected meth and a blue pill crusher.
Officer Almazan said the substances in the baggies and the crusher were all tested, and those tests all indicated positive results for the presence of meth.
As McGill continued to approach, Officer Almazan stated he ordered the man to stop and show his hands. But, McGill apparently ignored the orders.
The officer reportedly fired his taser and hit McGill, but yet he did not stop. The officer tasered the man a second time and he fell to the ground, added the report.
But, the fight was just beginning.
As he was on the ground, McGill allegedly kicked Detective Pickering as the detective and Officer Almazan tried to restrain him. The officer, continued the report, tasered the man again.
“Deputy Margerum, Detective Pickering and I continued to wrestle McGill, who appeared to be extremely strong,” stated the report. “After several attempts, Deputy Margerum and Detective Pickering each grabbed an arm and placed it behind McGill. As McGill continued to kick and resist, I placed handcuffs on both wrists.”
Officer Almazan went on to state McGill was then taken to Raulerson Hospital, and later taken to the county jail.
McGill’s arraignment on these charges has been set for Sept. 1 at 10:30 a.m.
Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News