SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Charges have been filed against a man who is accused of nearly severing the ear of a police officer.
Last week, Leon Dane Hall was arrested following a skirmish with two Salt Lake City police officers.
Hall was charged Monday with two felony counts of assault against a police officer. The charges is a second degree felony. Hall also was charged with interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor.
“He swung at the officer, cutting his ear and gashing his head,” said Sim Gill, Salt Lake District Attorney.
But during the run in with police, Hall allegedly grabbed a metal object and is accused of severing the ear of the arresting officer.
Gill said Hall appeared impaired, refused to obey orders and then slipped his hands in his pockets.
“Within the use of force, they used their batons in his knee, thigh, leg area so to distract him to get him to release and so his hands can go back and handcuff him,” Gill said.
But last week, Hall’s mother claimed police used excessive force. She didn’t want to be identified but questioned why officers would hit him “more than fifty times.” She said she is seeking at attorney to file a civil lawsuit against the police department.
According to the probable cause statement filed with the charges Hall was wandering around at an apartment complex. Someone complained to police and when police responded officers said he “smelled the odor of marijuana.”
When asked where he lived, police claimed Hall said he refused to answer the question. Police then claimed they asked him to leave but Hall responded ‘where do I go?’
Police then asked him for his identification to which Hall told them “give me your ID.” Police asked Hall if he was “high on something.” He allegedly told officer “I wish.”
Police said Hall then reached into his pockets. Police told him to remove his hands from his pockets. And when the officer attempted to grab his hands Hall said “Don’t touch me.”
According to the probable cause statement police attempted to take him into custody but Hall resisted and yelled at officer telling them to stop touching him. After several attempt to get Hall to comply police claimed “Hall began to swing at the officers.”
One of the officers attempted to control Hall’s upper body while the second officer used his baton on Hall’s thigh and lower leg to “gain compliance.”
The probable cause statement claimed Hall continued to resist and told officer to “stop” and “help. Police continued to use their baton “again to gain compliance but Hall continued to resist.”
When Hall was finally placed on the ground, one of the officers observed Hall grabbing a metal object and “swung and hit” the officer in the head. The report also said Hall attempted to swing the metal object at the second officer but missed.
Other police officers arrived and gained control of Hall who was taken into custody.
A spokesman said the officer was cut in the head with the metal object and doctors surgically repaired his ear and is now recovering.