WARSAW — A Larwill man was recently arrested after kicking a police officer’s face and threatening other officers.
Thomas Clark Whitehead, 52, 5355 N. Elder Road, Larwill, is charged with battery to a public safety official, a level 5 felony; two counts of intimidation, both level 6 felonies; resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while intoxicated in a manner that endangers a person, both class A misdemeanors; failure to stop after an accident, a class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor.
On July 31, Warsaw Police officers responded to a dispatch in the 500 block of South Buffalo Street regarding a possibly intoxicated driver leaving the scene of an accident. A caller said a vehicle hit and damaged a sign, then fled the area. A taillight from the suspect vehicle was left behind at the crash scene.
Upon arrival at the location, officers found a truck stopped in the middle of a parking lot with its headlights on. According to court documents, when officers approached the truck, they noticed the driver’s head was falling back and forth. Officers also saw a smoking pipe in plain view and smelled burnt marijuana.
The taillight from the accident was brought to where the truck was at. Aside from the taillight matching the vehicle, officers also noticed paint transfer and damage to the truck’s fender and tailpipe.
Officers later identified the truck driver as Whitehead. While officers were asking him questions, Whitehead had a difficult time answering and said several times that he knew martial arts.
The officers attempted to have Whitehead perform some standard field sobriety tests, but he had trouble standing without using his vehicle for support. Whitehead registered a 0.182% on a portable breath test but refused to submit to a certified chemical test for ethanol or drugs.
While searching Whitehead’s vehicle, officers found two drug pipes that each smelled of burnt marijuana and contained drug residue. After searching the vehicle, officers attempted to assist Whitehead to a police vehicle to be taken to a hospital. Initially, Whitehead refused to move and the officers had to pick him up off the ground. Once they got to the vehicle, Whitehead allegedly tensed up and began to physically struggle with two of the officers.
At the hospital, Whitehead threatened two of the officers and their families. While officers attempted to place Whitehead in a bed, Whitehead rolled his leg up and kicked one of the officers in the left eye, knocking him to the floor. The officer had to be medically treated for a head injury as a result of Whitehead’s actions.
Whitehead has six prior convictions for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. These convictions are from Whitley, Marion, Noble and LaGrange Counties.
Whitehead was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on July 31, with a $16,000 surety and cash bond.