A Leavenworth man who allegedly pulled a knife on a police officer has been bound over for trial on charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer and obstruction of a legal process.
A judge decided to bind over the case at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for Harold W. Snell III Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court. Snell's case then proceeded to the arraignment phase, and a not guilty plea was entered.
The charges stem from an April 6 incident that resulted in injury to Leavenworth police Sgt. Steven Brandau.
Brandau testified Wednesday that he had intended to arrest Snell, 34, that evening for Municipal Court warrants when the defendant ran into a home at 1202 Olive St.
The sergeant said Snell later ran out of the back of the residence.
Brandau said he chased after Snell on foot.
"I said, 'Police stop,'" Brandau testified.
The sergeant said he caught up with Snell in an alley and grabbed him. Brandau testified the defendant told the officer he wasn't going to hurt him. Brandau said he then saw a knife in Snell's left hand.
"I told him to drop the knife several times," Brandau said.
The sergeant said the defendant wouldn't drop the knife and kept uttering that he wasn't going to hurt the officer.
Brandau said he doesn't remember whether he grabbed the knife or if the defendant eventually dropped it. But the sergeant said he somehow came into possession of the knife.
Brandau said the blade cut his right hand when he tried to secure the knife. He said the cut was deep enough for him to see tendons in his hand.
Brandau testified he subdued Snell until other officers arrived. The sergeant said he placed his left knee on Snell's chest and was choking him.
After other officers arrived, Brandau drove himself to the hospital. He received 12 stitches.
Brandau said he has numbness in the hand and continues to have pain. He's been told he has nerve and tendon damage, and a specialist has recommended surgery.
During cross examination, Brandau said Snell gave no indication that he was trying get rid of the knife so neither man would be injured.
No other witnesses testified during the preliminary hearing. District Judge said he was binding over the case for the battery and obstruction charges. He said there was no evidence presented regarding another charge alleging the possession of methamphetamine.
Assistant County Attorney Christopher Scott said the prosecution witness who would have testified about that allegation was not able to appear in court Wednesday.
Sundby said he was discharging that count.
Page 2 of 2 - A jury trial was scheduled for July 15. A pretrial conference was scheduled for June 14.
Snell was in custody when he appeared in court Wednesday. The defense made a request for an OR, or own recognizance, bond with supervision requirements. Defense attorney Debra Snider said Snell stands to lose a significant amount of property if he's unable to get out of jail to take care of the problem.
Scott objected to an OR bond because of the severity level of the battery charge.
Sundby said bond already had been significantly reduced in the case and he wasn't willing to go down any further. The judge noted that if Snell is convicted of the most serious count, he likely would face prison.