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Man attempts to steal Piedmont police chief's patrol car after attacking older man

PIX Now morning edition 4-28-24
PIX Now morning edition 4-28-24 12:52

A 42-year-old man was arrested in Piedmont after attacking an older man, forcing his way into a home and threatening the resident, then trying to steal the police chief's patrol car Friday afternoon.

Willie Gomer was sprayed with pepper spray and shot by a Taser, but it still took Chief Jeremy Bowers, several officers and a security guard to get him out of the police car and take him into custody, according to police.

Officers responded at 4:23 p.m. Friday to a report of an unconscious man in Ace Hardware at 1221 Grand Ave. Witnesses said a man had randomly struck the victim from behind and fled next door into a garden center, police said.

When he was located, the man refused to surrender. Police used pepper spray and a Taser in an attempt to subdue him. He removed the Taser prongs and got away, police said. 

The man then forced his way into a residence in the 400 block of Sunny Slope Avenue and threatened the resident, police said.

The suspect then ran out onto Valle Vista Avenue where he confronted Bowers and jumped into his police car in a bid to escape, police said. The two fought in the car and Gomer was removed with the help of other officers and a security guard, police said.

Gomer was accused of assault with great bodily injury, causing injury to an elder adult, battery with serious bodily injury, battery of a police officer, obstructing a police officer, robbery, burglary, carjacking, possession of a controlled substance and violating parole.

He was on parole for auto theft, robbery, kidnapping and multiple parole violations, police said.

The elderly man was taken to a hospital for treatment. An officer was also injured in the incident and was treated at the hospital and released. 

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