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Crime & Courts

Man faces assault, other charges after biting an Anchorage police officer during a traffic stop

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: August 31, 2020
  • Published August 31, 2020

A man faces multiple charges after fleeing, resisting arrest and biting an Anchorage police officer during a traffic stop early Saturday morning, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

The man, 49-year-old Richard L. Eaton Jr., was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on two warrants and charged for failing to stop, resisting arrest, assault and operating a vehicle under the influence of suspected drugs, police said in a statement Monday.

Officers twice deployed Tasers to arrest Eaton, who then bit an officer twice and tried to bite another, police said. Two officers were injured in a struggle with Eaton but their injuries did not require hospital treatment, police said.

At 3:44 a.m. Saturday, an officer with the Impaired Driving Enforcement Unit stopped Eaton, who was driving a 2007 blue Chevy Colorado truck, police said. The officer had seen Eaton make a “wide turn that straddled two lanes of traffic” while following “too closely” behind the vehicle in front of him, police said.

Eaton “came to an abrupt stop” on Halligan Street, near Muldoon Road, got out of the Chevy and ran at the officer’s car “while reaching towards his waistband with one of his hands,” police said.

The officer reversed his car while commanding Eaton to stop, but he continued to “charge” the officer on his driver’s side, according to the statement

Eaton then got back in his vehicle and fled, running a red light and driving north on Muldoon Road, police said. The officer followed with his lights on, police said. Sparks flew from the truck’s tailgate, which had become partially dislodged and was dragging on the pavement while Eaton “was jerking the pickup back and forth in his lane,” according to police.

Eaton then stopped on the 1400 block of Muldoon, where he got out of his truck and began walking toward the officer while gripping a pen in one hand, police said. Eaton then picked up and threw the tailgate into the truck’s bed, striking the rear window and shattering it, police wrote.

Police said that other officers arrived and that Eaton “yelled at them, challenged them to fight, paced back and forth, refused to obey commands, and then attempted to get back into the driver’s seat of his truck.”

One officer then used his Taser gun but Eaton stayed standing and “swiped away” the Taser wires with his hands, police said. Eaton waved his hands and “postured to fight,” they said. A second officer fired his Taser and Eaton fell and “multiple officers went to the ground” while attempting to handcuff him.

Eaton struggled with the officers, biting one twice and attempting to bite another, police said. He continued to kick and struggle as officers tried to walk him to a patrol vehicle and they again put him on the ground and in full restraints, police said.

Police said that a breath sample taken from Eaton at the jail showed no alcohol in his system. Officers then took Eaton to the hospital for a “medical clearance” and obtained a search warrant to draw his blood, police said.

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