Suspect in Milton Police officer vehicular assault pleads 'not guilty'

The man accused of running over a Milton Police officer in a Taco Bell parking lot faced a judge in Pierce County Court on Thursday.

Jory Edward Nelson is facing a long list of charges, including vehicular assault for seriously injuring Officer Erik Haney, pictured below.

((File / FOX 13))

He had surgery Wednesday and is recovering at a local hospital.

Kent Police arrested 32-year-old Nelson on Wednesday following a pursuit, during which they had to use a PIT maneuver to stop his SUV.

Nelson pleaded not guilty in Pierce County court one day after the struggle. He is pictured entering the courtroom below.

Newly-released court documents state that Officer Haney and Officer Wilcox were on patrol when a tip came in "about a drug transaction that was about to occur at Taco Bell."

The tip included that Nelson, "was going to bring roughly one ounce of fentanyl."

Nelson was spotted standing in the Taco Bell parking lot, pictured below. Nelson was reportedly outside his SUV, talking to a person in a separate vehicle in the lot.

When officers tried to arrest him on a narcotics warrant out of Kent, they say Nelson ran to his SUV and a struggle with the officers ensued.

"During that time, one of the officers realized he was getting ready to take off," said Milton Police Chief Tony Hernandez.

Court documents state that "Haney told Nelson that he was under arrest and not free to go," Nelson then hit the gas and Officer Haney's arm was pinned behind Nelson's back."

"The officer was dragged towards the exit of the parking lot, fell from the vehicle, and then was run over," said Hernandez.

Kent Police pursued and arrested Nelson.

Investigators stated in court documents that after searching the SUV, they found "over 26 grams of fentanyl recovered in two baggies, seven baggies of ‘magic’ mushrooms [over eight grams], three baggies of marijuana, a baggie of methamphetamine, digital scales, and a fake gun."

Prosecutors told the judge Nelson had a history of driving violations.

"He displayed clear disregard for the safety of others by taking off with an officer still partially inside his vehicle and then running him over," said prosecutors on Thursday.

After hearing about the officer's injuries, Northwest Custom Apparel employees launched a T-shirt fundraiser to help Officer Haney and his family.

"It’s just nice to give back to our community and take care of such a great police force up there in Milton," said Erik Mickelson, Operations Manager at Northwest Custom Apparel.

Erik Mickelson says the shirts are ready for order online.

"They look really perfect, so now we are just collecting orders, believe it or now, we got orders overnight," said Mickelson.

Nelson was charged in Pierce County with first-degree assault, vehicular assault, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, failure to remain at an injury accident and attempting to elude a pursing police vehicle.

He could also face additional charges in King County.


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