A man is facing charges after he allegedly drove on a Palmetto park’s soccer fields, dragging a police officer along with him.
Palmetto police were called to Lincoln Park, located on 17th Street East, around 3:44 p.m. Sunday on a report of a blue truck driving onto the park’s soccer fields that nearly struck players, according to a probable cause affidavit.
When the first officer got to the park, the truck was still on the fields, but as the officer approached, the driver began to drive toward him.
As the vehicle approached, the officer pulled his gun, but reholstered it and reached through the truck’s open window. The officer, while telling the driver to stop the vehicle, grabbed the steering wheel and tried to put the truck in park, according to the affidavit.
But the driver, Wilbur Thomas Jr., 60, of Palmetto, allegedly accelerated the truck, dragging the officer nearly 40 feet, according to the affidavit.
A second officer arrived on the scene and pursued Thomas out of the park and west on 17th Street. Thomas allegedly drove to a cul-de-sac on 12th Street Court East.
Blocked in, police approached Thomas in the truck. He allegedly refused to get out, despite police orders, according to the affidavit. Once officers pulled him from the vehicle, Thomas allegedly refused orders to put his hands behind his back.
An officer electronically stunned Thomas, who was then arrested without further incident, according to Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler.
Thomas is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, obstructing without violence and fleeing/eluding a law enforcement officer. He is being held in the Manatee County jail.
The officer is “a little sore” following the incident, but was not injured in the incident, Tyler said. He noted the call that reported the incident claimed one person was injured, but police could not locate an injured person at the scene.