Man attempts to escape Royersford Police during drug arrest

ROYERSFORD — Police arrested a man who allegedly struggled and attempted to run from police after an officer tried to arrest him for having marijuana.

Officer Caleb Smith of the Royersford Police was patrolling Victory Park on the 200 block of Second Avenue Aug. 6 when he saw a man later identified as Michael Hobbs, 23, walking on the path in the park near the pavilion.

“I advised Hobbs that the park is closed after sunset and that he was trespassing on posted property,” Smith wrote in an affidavit of probable cause tied to the case.

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Smith patted Hobbs down for weapons and then, with Hobbs’ consent, searched a bag he was carrying. The officer discovered a folded piece of white paper and allegedly found a “grean, leafy vegetable substance that was consistent with marijuana.”

“Hobbs was told to turn around and put his hands behind his back,” the affidavit said. “Hobbs immediately started to run in the direction of the pavilion.”

Smith reportedly grabbed Hobbs and took him to the ground at “which point a large struggle resulted.” Hobbs could not be immediately detained, the affidavit said, and got up, running, again, while Smith tried to grab his arms.

At that point, Smith said it became necessary to deploy a stun gun.

“Hobbs rolled to his stomach and as soon as I attempted to restrain him with handcuffs, the struggle continued,” Smith wrote.

The stun gun had to be deployed multiple times because he continued to break free of the officer’s grip, the affidavit said.

Eventually, Hobbs was arrested, according to court documents.

It’s unclear what injuries, if any, either man received in the incident.

“The substance found on the defendant was field-tested and had positive results for marijuana,” the affidavit said.

Hobbs was charged with two felonies: aggravated assault and escape. He was also charged with a host of misdemeanors including simple assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing a controlled substance, among other offenses.

Arraigned before District Judge Walter Gadzicki Aug. 7, his bail was set at 10 percent of $35,000, which a professional bondsman posted the next day.

A preliminary hearing before Gadzicki scheduled last week was continued to Sept. 2.

Court records indicate Hobbs was arrested twice in November, 2009: once for multiple counts of identity theft and another time for making terorristic threats.

Charges were filed within three days of each other.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno