A Palmetto man has been charged with striking an officer while struggling to get his knife back from her, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.
Timothy Vandervliet, 59, was arrested at 8:45 a.m. Thursday in the 3500 block of U.S. 41 N. in Palmetto. According to the report, an officer was traveling southbound on U.S. 41 in Palmetto when she observed Vandervliet hunched down in the median acting suspiciously. The officer observed what she believed was Vandervliet throwing something at her car and other vehicles. The officer turned her vehicle around and parked in the center median, police said.
According to the report, Vandervliet had removed his wallet, ID and a pocket knife and handed it to the officer. The officer tried talking to Vandervliet, at which point he began making comments that the officer didn’t pay for the knife, the report said. Vandervliet allegedly reached toward the officer, making quick jab motions toward the knife and striking the officer on her left forearm. Vandervliet was ordered to the ground but did not comply, the report said.
According to police, both the officer and Vandervliet reached the edge of the roadway, and Vandervliet reached into his pocket and removed an object the officer believed to be a gun. He pointed the object at her, at which point authorities said the “officer transitioned to her firearm.” Vandervliet then began putting the object back into his pocket. Investigators said the object appeared to be homemade and was in the shape of a gun with an item on the end resembling a gun barrel.
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Vandervliet was charged with assault and battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer and was being held in Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $12,500.