Man becomes combative after drunken driving arrest

Recorder Staff
Published: 12/8/2017 10:00:45 PM

GREENFIELD — Police arrested a 33-year-old man on drunken-driving-related charges after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into a tree on Davis Street and then assaulted police officers Wednesday night.

Jovon Van Guilder was arraigned in Greenfield District Court Thursday on charges of operating under the influence of alcohol, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of property damage and disorderly conduct.

According to a report by Greenfield Police Officer Felix Ramos, officers were dispatched to Davis Street for a report of a vehicle that crashed into a tree Wednesday around 10 p.m. Ramos found the vehicle, a red Chevrolet Tahoe, which had left the scene of the crash, parked in front of King’s Gym on Main Street.

The operator, identified as Van Guilder, was sitting in the driver’s seat, reclined, watching a movie on his phone, according to the report. Ramos observed fresh front end damage to the driver’s side front bumper.

Van Guilder denied being in an accident and said he had not consumed any alcohol, but Ramos wrote that he could smell a moderate odor of alcohol coming from Van Guilder’s breath and observed a vodka nip in the center cup holder and a nearly empty bottle of Fireball whiskey in the driver’s side door.

When Ramos tried to locate Van Guilder’s ID inside the vehicle due to safety concerns, he wrote that Van Guilder became irate, yelling that Ramos did not have permission to go into the car, and began punching the rear driver’s side door.

Additional officers on scene tried to restrain Van Guilder, pushing him against the vehicle and trying to control his flailing arms, according to the report. Ramos wrote that Van Guilder tried to re-enter his vehicle and swung punches, and was advised he would be tased if he continued to resist.

Officer Jay Butynski wrote in his report that he removed his taser, but could not get a clear shot without striking the other officers.

Van Guilder was eventually subdued and transported to the Police Department for booking, but refused to leave the cruiser, according to Ramos’ report. He wrote that Van Guilder kicked Butynski in the thigh, at which point Ramos removed his pepper spray and told Van Guilder that he would be sprayed if he remained combative and resistant.

Van Guilder was then removed from the cruiser and brought into the booking room, where he told Ramos if he did not leave, he would come back, find him and kill him, according to the report.

Van Guilder refused a breath test. He is due back in court on Jan. 4 for a pretrial conference.


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