Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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April 17, 2014

Assault on officer brings charges

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — A Paoli man who assaulted the local police chief while being arrested last week now faces four criminal charges.

The formal counts for 25-year-old Bryce James Cowan were filed earlier this week in Garvin County District Court.

It was Cowan who admitted to being under the influence of drugs when he resisted Paoli Police Chief Mark Fuzzell while being taken into custody exactly one week ago.

Although Cowan has not yet made a court appearance in the case, he now faces felony counts for possessing methamphetamine and assault on an officer, along with misdemeanor counts of resisting an officer and possession of an illegal drug pipe.

The incident leading to the charges came during the evening of Thursday, April 10 when Fuzzell responded to a call from a Paoli resident living in the 100 block of Davis.

The resident contacted authorities about her brother, Cowan, refusing to leave the house. Cowan was described by his sister as acting “very strange,” according to an affidavit that included Fuzzell’s description of the incident.

After Fuzzell responded to the call he reported finding Cowan at the corner of Davis and Oklahoma streets.

The police chief said Cowan claimed to be “high” from smoking meth earlier in the day and admitted to having some of the drug on him at that time.

The suspect also said he wasn’t OK and probably needed to go to a hospital.

Then a struggle began as Fuzzell attempted to take Cowan into custody.

“Bryce refused to follow commands and started backing away,” Fuzzell stated in his report, adding Cowan then ran directly at him.

One of three witnesses at the scene, friends of Cowan, then stepped in between as Cowan started wrestling with both him and the chief.

Fuzzell reported Cowan didn’t appear phased after he was pepper sprayed. His combative moves put the chief on the ground as he then made the call for help.

“Bryce attempted to bite (the chief) several times on the hand and arm. Another citizen attempted to help control Bryce’s assault and attempts to resist arrest. Bryce was repeatedly trying to escape.”

For an estimated 15 minutes Fuzzell restrained Cowan after he got one handcuff placed on the suspect’s wrist.

Cowan continued to resist after police officers from Maysville and Pauls Valley, along with county deputies, arrived at the scene.

After Cowan was placed in hand and leg restraints he still managed to kick out a window in a county deputy’s patrol car.

In his statement Fuzzell stated he received multiple scratches on his arms and neck.

Officials have confirmed Cowan had been taken to a mental health facility for an evaluation.

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