CONNEAUT — A Conneaut man who battled with a city police officer late last week and was eventually subdued with the help of passing motorists has been bound over to the Ashtabula County grand jury.
Travis Gonzales, 27, 434 W. Main Road, No. 203, has been charged with assault on a police officer, a fourth-degree felony. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Conneaut Municipal Court on Tuesday afternoon.
Misdemeanor charges of falsification and resisting arrest were dismissed at the hearing, a court spokeswoman said. Gonzales was represented by a public defender at the hearing and remains in jail in lieu of bond, the spokeswoman said.
Gonzales was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by police on West Main Road late Thursday afternoon when an officer recognized the driver as someone who didn’t have a valid driver’s license. The passenger identified himself as a Torry Gonzales, officers said. The officer who made the traffic stop, Patrolman Bryan Distelrath, recalled Pennsylvania State Police were looking for an individual with the last name of Gonzales on an escape charge.
Distelrath approached the man and told him he would be detained in the police cruiser for a few minutes.
“You have to put me in there?” Gonzales said, according to a report. As Distelrath began to explain the procedure, Gonzales took a swing at the officer and then began running in the direction of nearby Glenwood Cemetery, police said.
After a short distance, Gonzales stopped and assumed a fighting stance toward Distelrath, police said. The officer was able to put the suspect on the ground, but Gonzales struggled fiercely as Distelrath tried to attach handcuffs, repeatedly striking the officer in the arm with his elbows. The pair exchanged blows when a handful of passersby who saw the fight ran up and offered assistance, police said.
The passersby were able to help hold down Gonzales, allowing Distelrath to attach the handcuffs. More officers arrived, and Gonzales again resisted efforts to subdue him, police said.
Later, Gonzales told one officer he had been smoking methamphetamine and marijuana just before the traffic stop.