MIDDLESEX TWP — A suspected drunken driver was arrested after allegedly clashing with and threatening to kill three police officers Sunday morning, authorities said.
Kenneth R. Carpenter, 27, of Valencia was arraigned on felony assault and other charges, and placed in the Butler County Prison on $10,000 bail.
Penn Township police, which have a mutual aid agreement with Middlesex Township police, were called about 2:35 a.m. after Carpenter crashed his 1996 Audi at Route 228 West and Davis Road in Middlesex Township.
Penn Township officer Cheryl Cranmer got there and found the defendant’s car blocking the eastbound lane. But Carpenter had already fled the scene.
A motorist who stopped after the crash told Cranmer that the suspect “smelled of alcohol and jumped over the guardrail,” according to court documents.
Adams Township police and Middlesex Township volunteer firefighters helped search for Carpenter.
About 3:20 a.m., a man flagged down Cranmer not far from the crash site. The man, it turned out, was the defendant. His clothing was wet and covered in grass and weeds.
He told the officer he was slowing down cars due to the crash.
Cranmer said she asked Carpenter if he had been involved in a crash. “He said, ‘Yes, but hours ago,’” documents said.
He denied he had been drinking. But Cranmer said she suspected otherwise. The suspect refused to submit to a breath test.
Police said Carpenter struggled with Cranmer and Adams Township police officers Timothy Weibel and Edward Lenz as they tried to place him in handcuffs and put in a police cruiser.
At one point, he allegedly threw himself head-first into the cruiser.
The defendant also spit and kicked at the three officers, police said. Once in the cruiser, he banged his head on the door and spit in the car.
Later at the Penn Township police station, documents said, he bashed his head into the holding cell door and threatened to kill the officers once he got out.
None of the officers were hurt. It was not immediately known if Carpenter suffered any self-inflicted injuries.
He is charged with three counts each of aggravated assault and terroristic threats, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.
A preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the office of District Judge Sue Haggerty in Saxonburg.