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Spitter faces felony charges for incident with deputies

Jul 28, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The man who spit on Fremont County Detention Center staff after being arrested for stealing a truck in Riverton now faces two felony assault charges in District Court.

Kristopher Cody Simmons-Patrick, 27, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery against an officer for allegedly spitting on Fremont County Sheriff's deputies Joel Laird and Jacob Halsmer on April 13.

The maximum penalty for each count is five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

On June 12, Lander Circuit Court judge Robert B. Denhardt bound the charges over to District Court. The charges allege Simmons-Patrick knowingly and intentionally propelled a dangerous substance against a corrections or detention officer.

According to court documents, staff at the detention center had placed Simmons-Patrick in a restraint chair and quilted smock for behavior reasons on April 13. Laird, Halsmer and other detention staff reportedly were monitoring Simmons-Patrick when they noticed the man kept being able to loosen the strap on his right ankle.

The deputies said they decided to apply a waist restraint. As Laird and deputy Josh Northcutt applied the strap, Halsmer said he saw Simmons-Patrick make motions that appeared to be attempts to bite Laird and Northcutt.

Halsmer reportedly was trying to hold the defendant's head and chin up when Simmons-Patrick spit in the deputy's face. The saliva also struck Laird on his wrist and face, according to the affidavit.

Simmons-Patrick initially was arrested April 9 after reportedly failing to return a truck he had taken for a "test drive" from Fremont Motors, 1601 N. Federal Blvd., Riverton.

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