Charges filed against man BPD officers were detaining before vehicular accident; injured officers released from hospital

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More details have been released regarding the arrest of a man at the center of Tuesday night’s accident that resulted in the injury of three Batesville Police officers.

According to information filed in Independence County Circuit Court, Tadd Alan Gates (pictured), 26, was arrested Dec. 10 on five felony counts and one misdemeanor count after BPD officers had to tackle Gates in the middle of Harrison Street while taking him into custody.

The court information says Sgt. Brenda Bittle was twice dispatched earlier in the evening to Murphy USA at 3162 Harrison St. on complaints Gates would not vacate the lot. After Gates finally left the area traveling west on Harrison, Bittle began following his vehicle, “…at which point she advised dispatch that his truck was ‘All over the road’ and ‘going into oncoming traffic,’ the Affidavit of Probable Cause for Arrest stated. After activating her blue lights and attempting to stop the vehicle, Bittle was then assisted by BPD Officers Chris Rogers and Amber Branscum.

After Gates was finally stopped in the middle of the roadway, Rogers exited his patrol vehicle and then observed Gates’ truck moving toward him, almost striking the patrol vehicle. Rogers drew his duty weapon and told Gates to exit the truck. As Gates began to exit, officers began to wrestle Gates to the ground after he began to flee and then resist, the court info said. Shortly thereafter, BPD Officers Jordan Akins and Hutton Grace also arrived on the scene to assist.

While still on Harrison Street with traffic present, officers were finally able to place hand restraints on Gates. During the process, Branscum discovered a boot knife in Gates’ front pocket. According to the affidavit, “Bittle then stood up at which time other traffic could be observed passing by the officers in close proximity.” Within moments, officers were struck by a vehicle traveling east on Harrison in the outside lane, the court info read.

According to the affidavit, Gates was noncompliant and combative throughout the entire incident.

“By stopping in the middle of a high traffic flow roadway and by resisting arrest, he created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury which manifested extreme indifference to the value of human life,” the affidavit read.

After checking with the Arkansas Crime Information Center, it was learned Gates had been previously convicted of four felonies. As such, he is being charged as a habitual offender. He faces five counts of felony aggravated assault and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

The vehicular accident that injured the officers is being investigated by the Arkansas State Police.

Sgt. Bittle underwent surgery for injuries sustained on her foot and leg during the incident and has been released from the hospital, according to the department. Branscum and Akins have also been treated for their injuries and released from the hospital. All three are resting at home.

In a statement released today, the BPD expressed gratitude for those who called or voiced their concerns.

The thoughts and prayers were appreciated, the department noted.

For more on this story, click here.

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