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After scuffle and pepper spray, Mt. Juliet Police get their man
Feb 12, 2007 12:00 am
It all started with some plastic bags.
Mt. Juliet police officer Frank Direggi responded to a shoplifting call at the Exxon station near Interstate 40 early Thursday morning. He was greeted by 20 year-old Old Hickory resident Brandon Salyer, who authorities suspect of stealing baggies for use in the distribution of cocaine from the convenience store at the station.
According to Mt. Juliet Police Chief Ted Floyd, Salyer didn't take to kindly to Direggi's attempt to arrest him. Salyer and the officer got into a scuffle in the parking lot of the station that ended after Direggi used pepper spray to subdue the suspect.
Once backup had arrived, Salyer was searched and charged with possession of what police say appears to be cocaine, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, and tampering with evidence. The last charged came after Salyer attempted to destroy the suspicious white powder in his possession by stomping on it repeatedly, the chief said.
Salyer wasn't the only one to go home in a squad car, Floyd added. His girlfriend, Stephanie Hammler, was also arrested for assisting Salyer in the suspected baggie theft scheme.
No one was seriously hurt, and officer Direggi returned to duty after the fight. Salyer was delivered to the Wilson County Jail.
Though a relatively minor incident, Floyd said the arrest stood as a lesson to suspected criminals who insist on trying argue with the officers who try to arrest them.
"I don't know why some of them think they can fight us off," he said. "I've never figured that out. Every time they try it, we win the fight and it just makes it worse on them. And still, people think it's a good idea."
"I don't get that," he added.