8/2/20 Yelm, WA – Accident Call – Man Punches Officer In The Face – Attempts To Steal Police Car – Crashed Into Pole – Tased – Another Fight – Captured – Jail
August 2, 2020
A 33-year-old Tacoma man assaulted a Yelm officer Sunday, Aug. 2, after the two got in an altercation following a short foot pursuit.
Yelm officers were dispatched at about 12:30 a.m. to assist Thurston County deputies with a vehicle accident in the 20800 block of Neat Road in Yelm. Dispatch reported to Yelm officers that a dark-skinned male was trying to steal a vehicle and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics, according to police records.
Officers responded to the incident and made contact with the reporting party, who said the male subject walked up to him, punched him in the face and stomach and then attempted to steal his vehicle. The vehicle crashed into a pole a short distance away, and 33-year-old Christopher Simms could be seen pacing around the vehicle.
The Yelm officer attempted to make contact with Simms but a foot chase quickly ensued. After about 50 yards, the officer caught up to Simms and tackled him in a ditch.
Simms started elbowing, scratching and pulling the officer’s ear, according to police reports. In an attempt to cuff Simms, he reportedly elbowed the Yelm officer and cut the back of his head, drawing blood. The Yelm officer was eventually able to pin Simms.
The incident was backed up by witness statements.
As a Thurston County deputy was in the process of transporting Simms on charges of third-degree assault on an officer, Simms allegedly jumped in the driver’s seat in an attempt to take the deputy’s cruiser.
According to the account of the Yelm officer, who was running to the scene to help, the vehicle appeared to jerk back and forth between park, reverse and drive as the deputy attempted to stop Simms from taking the vehicle.
As the Yelm officer assisted in detaining Simms, an officer deployed a Taser into him. As this was done, officers were reportedly able to bring Simms to the ground and detain him without further incident.
Simms is currently being held at Thurston County Jail without bail on charges of auto theft, escape and assault.
Assistant Yelm Police Chief Rob Carlson said the officer was able to return to work the next day.