The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

October 17, 2012

Joplin man facing felony counts in wake of scuffle


A homeless man who was involved in a scuffle with a police officer Friday at a Wal-Mart store in Joplin has been charged with felony counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and unlawful use of a weapon.

Billy D. Tate, 53, was arrested at the Wal-Mart store at 1501 S. Range Line Road after loss-prevention employees of the store called police concerning a man in the store who had been involved in a previous offense.

Cpl. Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department said a responding officer attempted to place Tate under arrest on two outstanding city warrants and a Jasper County warrant, but he allegedly pulled away from the officer and started to run. Tate allegedly pulled a knife on the officer, after the officer used a stun gun on him.

Besides the two felony counts, Tate was charged with misdemeanor counts of fleeing and failure to comply with an officer, Niess said.

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