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Visalia man convicted of attempted murder of police officer

Crime

VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A Visalia man was convicted in court Monday of attempted murder of a police officer, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Paul Brian Ward, 43, was guilty of attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, attempted weapon removal, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, attempted criminal threats, misdemeanor battery against a paramedic, and two counts of misdemeanor battery, according to the DA’s office.

On July 30, 2017, Visalia Police responded to a residence for reports of a disturbance, Spokesman Stuart Anderson said. Witnesses said Ward was in the home when he became irate and began to hit people.

Officers arrived and found Ward outside completely naked and subdued by a number of witnesses, one of whom was bleeding from the nose and suffered other injuries.

As paramedics tried to treat Ward, he kicked one in the groin and began to attack the officers, punching and kicking them, Anderson said.

After numerous demands to comply, officers used a stun gun with little effect, the DA’s office said. One officer pulled out his baton and Ward move toward him and grabbed ahold of it.

Ward punched the officer in the face during the struggle, Anderson said. He was then able to sweep around the officer with his arm and began to choke him.

According to witnesses, Ward used his free hand to go for the officer’s firearm.

The officer broke free when another officer struck Ward with a baton, the DA’s office said. Officers were then able to wrestle him to the ground and took him into custody.

Anderson said Ward’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20 where he faces life in prison.

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