The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 6, 2014

Deputy injured responding to suicide call

— A Newton County sheriff’s deputy was injured Wednesday night during a confrontation with a suicidal 18-year-old man at a residence southwest of Joplin.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said deputies were called about 6 p.m. to a residence on Douglas Fir Road where they encountered Alfred B. Sparks, sitting on a bed with a railroad spike in each hand. Deputies ordered Sparks to drop the spikes, but he refused, Copeland said.

The deputies were unable to subdue Sparks with a stun gun, and a struggle ensued in which Deputy Travis Spencer was struck on the head with one of the spikes, the sheriff said. Both Spencer and Sparks were taken to Freeman Hospital West, where they were treated and released.

Sparks remained in custody today at the Newton County Jail while a felony count of assaulting an officer was being sought.


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