Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Man charged in attack on police

Suspect remains incarcerated on $100,000 bond

Express Staff Writer

Christopher T. Evans

A 50-year-old Hailey man faces four criminal charges for allegedly attacking and battering police officers Saturday afternoon in downtown Hailey.

Police claim the attacks were unprovoked, and that Christopher T. Evans, for unknown reasons, began punching Blaine County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad Gelskey while Gelskey was parked in a patrol vehicle at 1:50 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Bullion streets.

Gelskey wrote in a probable-cause affidavit that during the attack Evans tried to grab the officer's service revolver and that Gelskey was "fearful that Evans was trying to kill or seriously injure him." Evans also allegedly punched Hailey Patrolman Manny Ornelas, who came to the scene to assist.

"When I arrived, it was a mess," said Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter. "This happened on Main Street and it was witnessed by a lot of people. There were three witnesses who helped officers subdue the suspect."

Evans is charged in a criminal complaint filed by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office with two felony counts of "battery upon a police officer" and two misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing officers and malicious injury to property. He remained incarcerated Tuesday in the Blaine County jail on $100,000 bond.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Angela Nelson said at an initial appearance Monday in Blaine County Magistrate Court that Evans has a prior criminal history of attacks on police and resisting and obstructing officers, and that he has had "previous mental health proceedings" against him.

Sheriff's Capt. Jay Davis said Monday that the attacks were unprovoked and that the incident begin when Evans, ranting about "his vehicle being towed and about three homicides," walked up to Gelskey's patrol vehicle and started punching the officer in the face.

Davis said Gelskey sprayed Evans twice with pepper spray but that the chemical seemed to have little effect. He said Ornelas shot Evans with a Taser, but that the electrical probes did not penetrate a coat that Evans was wearing.

Gelskey wrote in the probable-cause affidavit that he and Ornelas were both punched several times in the face. He wrote that he suffered "injuries to the left cheek and bridge of the nose," while Ornelas received a "red mark type bruise" on his cheek.

Evans suffered several facial cuts during the altercation.

Evans was charged with malicious injury to property for allegedly ripping Gelskey's shirt and breaking his "protective sunglasses."

Terry Smith:

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