Two Winter Haven police officers were injured by a knife-wielding man in a wheelchair, according to a news release.
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Officers said they responded to reports of a man wielding a 9-inch knife at Central Tavern on the 200 block of Central Avenue Friday.
Emmanuel Ruiz Mejia, 29, was approached by officers in a parking garage next to the tavern.
“A large sword-style knife was seen on the back of the wheelchair and was immediately removed for safety reasons,” the news release said.
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Mejia was asked to show his hands when he was seen clenching something under his thigh, police said. Mejia would not comply with the officers’ numerous commands and that is when an officer pulled out a Taser, the release said.
Police said Mejia still refused to show his hands and officers were forced to tase him. Mejia then pulled out a large serrated knife and still refused to surrender, police said.
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The officer tackled Mejia who thrust the knife, injuring an officer on the face and neck, investigators said.
Another officer deployed his Taser, but Mejia picked the knife up and threw it at the officer, police said. The officer injured his hand while deflecting the weapon, police said.
Mejia was arrested and after being medically evaluated at Winter Haven Hospital, he was taken to the Polk County Jail.
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“We are thankful that the injuries sustained to Officers Corley and Cruz are minor and they ultimately can go home to their family, said Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird. “This guy had no regard for life whatsoever and he is where he belongs and hopefully will stay there for a long time.”
Mejia was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of resisting officers with violence and four counts of resisting officers without violence.
Cox Media Group