A man bit Lacy Lakeview Police Chief John Truehitt as he was fighting with officers, before they used a stun gun and arrested him Wednesday morning, Truehitt said.
An officer stopped Ross Michael Wetterman, 30, at 9 a.m. Wednesday because his vehicle's license plate was not legible, Truehitt said. The officer believed Wetterman appeared to be under the influence of drugs and asked him to step out of his vehicle, he said.
When Wetterman exited the vehicle, needles and what appeared to be methamphetamine fell onto the ground, and Wetterman ran toward New Dallas Highway as the officer chased him, Truehitt said. Wetterman appeared to have been wearing a rope with blocks tied to the end, which he used to swing at the officer, striking his body camera, he said.
Wetterman then circled back and attempted to get into the officer's patrol car but was unable to, so he got back into his vehicle through the passenger door as a Lacy Lakeview detective arrived to assist, Truehitt said. Wetterman started hitting the detective as the detective tried to take his keys away, he said.
Truehitt then go to the scene, got in the back seat of Wetterman's vehicle and grabbed his arms to stop him from punching the detective, he said. During the altercation, Wetterman bit Truehitt's thumb before officers used a stun gun on Wetterman and were able to detain him, Truehitt said.
After being placed in custody, Wetterman complained of pain and a heart condition and was taken to a hospital before being cleared to go to jail, he said.
He was arrested on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated assault of a public servant, second-degree felony charges of assault of a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance, and Class A misdemeanor charges of evading arrest and resisting arrest. He remained in McLennan County Jail on Friday with bonds totaling $34,000.
Truehitt said after being detained, Wetterman told officers that if he had been able to get into one of the vehicles “they wouldn’t be able to catch him” because he would have driven down the wrong side of the road, not stopping for anyone.
“Here you have a man who would stop at nothing to keep from going to jail,” Truehitt said. “These officers are remarkable heroes and they protect the public from people like this. They put their lives at risk.”
Truehitt said he received medical treatment for the bite on his thumb but will probably lose his nail. He said he received a tetanus shot since the bite broke skin, and his thumb is still very swollen and sore.
“People need to understand that a bond is not a deterrent but it sends a message on what the lives of a police officer is worth.” Truehitt said. “$3,000 sends a clear message to me.”