BY KENNETH DEAN, email@example.com
GLADEWATER — Pleas to surrender and shocks from a Taser did not stop a man suspected of being on a synthetic marijuana-type drug from injuring a police officer he rushed and threw him to the ground.
Though the man was eventually stopped, the incident demonstrates the growing problem of K2 and other synthetic drugs.
Gladewater Police Chief Robert Vine said the incident happened Nov. 12 at the Brookshire’s Grocery in the 1300 block of East Broadway about 1 a.m.
Vine said two of his officers responded to the location on the report that a man had broken a window, but when they arrived they found 32-year-old Damien Michael Derrick, of Gladewater, had crawled through the broken window and was inside the store on the public announcement system.
Vine said officers approached Derrick and told him to get down on the ground, but instead he led them through the store before jumping back through the window he had broken and running into the parking lot.
At some point, Derrick was hit with a Taser, but Vine said it was if it did not have any effect on the man, who was believed to be high on a K2-like substance that was found in his possession.
“When officers approached Derrick he was instructed again to lie on the ground. Derrick then rushed one of the responding officers, knocking him back and causing the officer’s head to strike the concrete,” he said.
Vine said officers again attempted to use a Taser on Derrick and after at least one misfire, it did assist in placing the man in custody.
Derrick and the officer were both treated at the scene for injuries. Derrick sustained injuries to his arm and wrist from the broken glass when he broke through the window.
Vine said Derrick was arrested and charged with assault on a public servant, resisting arrest, criminal mischief of $500 to $1,500, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Last week, Jeremy Chad Tidwell, 39, and his 36-year-old wife, Shanna Peek Tidwell, owners of The Glass Dragon in Longview, were arrested in Longview and Tidwell’s 42-year-old brother Brian Tidwell, of Arlington, for allegedly selling K2 like substances and money laundering.
The case highlights the synthetic marijuana problem in the region Vine said.
“We’ve dealt with it more than we would like to, and it affects us all,” he said.
Vine said dealing with a person on a K2 like substance is challenging.
“You get a very abnormal reaction from usually normal people. You don’t know how they are going to react and many times not only can you not reason with the person, but they and anyone in the area can be in danger,” he said.