Pursuit of Trespassing Suspect Yields Stitches for Deputy
By Brandi Makuski
A Plainfield man has been charged with obstruction after his actions caused injury to a Portage Co. deputy.
Richard A. Erwin, 34, was arrested on July 14 after a caller reported he was trespassing at Paragon Farms on Central Sands Rd. in Pine Grove.
According to the criminal complaint, deputies found Erwin inside a warehouse on the property at about 1 AM, where he was using the farm’s equipment to weld a hitch to his wife’s car.
Erwin told deputies he was given permission to use the farm’s equipment, the complaint said, but the owner told deputies Erwin had been fired the month before, and he did not have permission to be on the property.
When deputies informed Erwin he was going to be arrested for trespassing, Erwin fled, running through and around various buildings of the property, reportedly ignoring deputy’s orders to stop.
An officer finally caught up with Erwin, warning Erwin he would be tased unless he complied. Erwin then stopped and fell to the ground, allowing deputies to place him in handcuffs.
During the foot pursuit, an officer cut his elbow on an unknown object. The laceration required three stitches to close.
Had Erwin not fled the deputies, he may have only been charged with trespassing, a Class A misdemeanor under state law. The charge he now faces, obstruction causing bodily harm to an officer, is a Class H felony punishable by a maximum of six year in prison and $10,000 in fines.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3 PM on Aug. 14.