Man held on $50,000 for alleged cop assault

Thursday, May 26, 2022
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A semi driver from Washington remains jailed on $50,000 bond on charges of assaulted a MHP trooper by kicking him in the neck and arms and attempted to assault a second trooper during the course of a DUI investigation.

Jaime Eduardo Diaz, 30, appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court via video from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility last Thursday and denied felony counts of assault on a peace officer, attempted assault on a peace officer and misdemeanor counts of DUI, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

In addition to the alleged assault and attempted assault on law enforcement, Diaz is accused kicking a hole through the sheetrock in the Stillwater County Sheriff’s DUI processing room, physically fighting the troopers who were trying to arrest him and used “threatening, profane and abusive language” towards the trooper as he was being transported to the sheriff’s office and then to the jail.

Diaz pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.

Deputy Stillwater County Attorney Ryan Addis sought — and was granted — a $50,000 bond based mostly on what he called Diaz’s “lengthy history” that includes violent crimes such as rape and assaults, as well as burglaries and criminal trespass matters.

Defense attorney Brian Haynes reserved bond reduction arguments for a later date.

As of Wednesday, May 25, he remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.

THE CASE

On April 27 at 4:16 p.m., MHP Trooper Wyatt Duncan was parked at the I-90 crossover near mile marker 429 when he received a complaint about a semi truck that had been travelling at a high rate of speed that had cut another vehicle off and then brake-checked it, according to court documents.

Trooper Duncan saw the semi approach along with Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Bruuresma, caught up with it. At that point, Diaz was traveling 75 mph in a 70 mph zone. Trooper Duncan activated his top lights and after “an excessive” distance, Diaz pulled over immediately next to a guardrail, which created a safety issue.

Trooper Duncan instructed Diaz to drive the semi to the other side of the hill where he could pull off the road further.

The trooper followed Diaz, who did not pull over, prompting the trooper to once again, activate his top lights, drive up beside Diaz and hit his sirens a few times, which then caused Diaz to pull over a second time, according to court documents.

When Trooper Duncan asked Diaz how far he was going to drive, Diaz replied “I got 3 hours left.”

The trooper clarified his question and then moved on to tell Diaz that he was stopped based on a traffic complaint. Diaz said he knew who had complained, telling the trooper that motorist was “right behind me when you pulled me over,” according to court documents.

When asked for his side of the story, Diaz said another semi had cut him off, so he drove around that semi and slowed down to 45 mph in order to get that driver to pull over so Diaz could asked him “what his problem was.”

“I did a road rage man,” Diaz told the trooper, adding that the incident had occurred right where the trooper and the deputy were sitting in the median.

When Trooper Duncan explained the incident had occurred 30 miles away from where the two lawmen were positioned in the median, Diaz seemed confused, according to court documents.

At that point, Trooper Duncan noted Diaz’s “obvious lack of situational awareness and sense of time, for whatever reason,” according to court documents.

The trooper could detect a strong alcohol odor coming from Diaz and noted that his eyes were bloodshot and watery. When asked if there was any alcohol in the cab of the semi, Diaz said yes, but that he had not consumed any alcohol on that day.

Trooper Duncan asked Diaz if he was aware that it was illegal to have alcohol in the cab of a semi, to which Diaz answered yes. When asked how much alcohol was in the cab, Diaz initially said there was Miller Lite in the fridge as well as Miller Lite cans leftover from an 18-pack that he had purchased and shared with a female, according to court documents.

Trooper Duncan again asked Diaz if had been drinking that day, to which Diaz said he had consumed two beers approximately three hours prior to the traffic stop. During field sobriety tests, Diaz was “swaying significantly” and had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his body. A breath alcohol test performed at the site of the stop showed a .184 reading, according to court documents.

At that point, Diaz was arrested and placed in the back seat of the trooper’s patrol vehicle.

It is at this point that authorities allege things went downhill rapidly.

At Diaz’s request, Trooper Duncan called the semi company’s fleet manager to advise of the situation, at which point Diaz began yelling from the backseat, telling the trooper what to tell the fleet manager.

“Trooper Duncan then closed the partition window, at which point the Defendant became angry and started calling Duncan vulgar names,” according to court documents.

As the trooper was filling out the paperwork for the arrest, Diaz saw that he was described as “Hispanic,” which caused him to become irate, saying he was not Hispanic but rather Mexican.

During the transport to the sheriff’s office for DUI processing, Diaz repeatedly threatened that he was “friends with the Hell’s Angels and would come find (the trooper) and kill (him).”

Diaz also threatened Trooper Duncan by stating he would “Kill (his) mom, wife, and kids” as well as sexually assault his mother and make the trooper watch, according to court documents. Diaz also called Trooper Duncan many derogatory terms which continued throughout the entire interaction.

Once at the sheriff’s office, Diaz put his feet on the ceiling of the patrol car and pressed his body into the set, preventing law enforcement from removing him. Multiple attempts were made to remove Diaz before he stopped resisting when told he would be Tased.

Once inside the DUI processing room, Diaz was asked to provide another breath sample.

“I already gave you a breath test, let’s talk about the real ----,” said Diaz, then stood up and tried to kick Trooper Duncan in the face.

The trooper put Diaz on the ground, where the fight continued, during which Diaz kicked a hole in the sheet rock wall inside the DUI processing room, according to court documents.

At that point, MHP Trooper Timm, Deputies Cole Waltner and Ty Williams and Columbus Police Officer Aaron Uecker responded and “assisted” with restraining Diaz, who continued to fight and “antagonize the officers,” according to court documents.

Diaz was eventually placed in leg shackles and when stood up by law enforcement, went limp and refused to stand on his own.

Trooper Timm and Deputy Williams grabbed his feet while Deputy Walter and Trooper Duncan grabbed his shoulders and the four lawmen began to carry Diaz out of the building to a patrol car.

At that point, Diaz began to “donkey kick” Trooper Timm and Deputy Williams. Trooper Timm was struck in the neck and arms, sustaining scratches, bruising and swelling, according to court documents.

Officer Uecker used his Taser to subdue Diaz. During the transport to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility, Diaz continued to make vulgar and threatening statements to Trooper Duncan and his family, according to court documents.