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Man tries to put cop in headlock, swallows drugs, pukes in cruiser

Friday, February 19, 2016

By Joe Gorman


Reports said a man running from police Wednesday continued even after he was shot with an electronic stun weapon, then tried to choke a police officer before he was taken into custody, where he then threw up in a cruiser.

Robert Anderson, 38, of Hubbard, is in the Mahoning County jail and expected to be arraigned today in municipal court via video hookup. He was booked into the jail on charges of possession of drugs, resisting arrest, obstructing official business, assault on a police officer and other charges.

Anderson has two prior resisting-arrest convictions, in 2008 from city police and 2013 from Youngstown State University police, court records show. He also is wanted on a warrant from Mahoning County court in Boardman, where he was facing a charge in 2014 of obstructing official business from Boardman police. That warrant also led to another warrant issued in municipal court for violating his parole in his 2013 conviction.

Officer Mark Sember pulled over a car in which Anderson was a passenger about 6:45 p.m. Wednesdsay at East Lucius and South avenues because it did not have a license-plate light. Reports said Sember asked Anderson for his name and he became very nervous, saying he had not done anything.

Sember replied that Anderson was not wearing a seat belt and he needed his name so he could write a citation. When Sember went back to his cruiser to do a records check, Anderson got out of the car, reports said.

Sember then warned Anderson to get back in the car, but instead he ran away, and Sember chased him. As they were running on East Lucius Avenue, reports said, Anderson reached for his waist as though he might have a weapon, and Sember pulled his stun weapon and ordered him to stop and show his hands.

Anderson would not raise his hands, and Sember fired. One of the prongs hit Anderson, but another hit his coat and was ineffective, reports said. Anderson continued running until Sember was able to tackle him in a yard. Anderson tried to pull away and at one point was trying to put Sember in a headlock before standing up. Sember hit him in the knees to make him lose his balance, and three other officers showed up and managed to get Anderson handcuffed, reports said.

Reports said police found a broken crack pipe and 10 pills on Anderson, and when he was put in the back of a cruiser, he started throwing up. An ambulance was called, and Anderson was taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Reports said at the hospital Anderson told staff he had taken pills and cocaine and drank alcohol.

The cruiser Anderson was placed in was towed because it is a potential biohazard, reports said.