Cops: Man with Drugs, Knife, Lots of Cash Arrested After Struggle

James Williams, 35, of Muller Avenue, was arrested by Norwalk police on drug charges and other charges around midnight Wednesday to Thursday. (Norwalk police arrest photo)
James Williams, 35, of Muller Avenue, was arrested by Norwalk police on drug charges and other charges around midnight Wednesday to Thursday. (Norwalk police arrest photo)
In a nighttime struggle on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Wednesday, two police officers and a suspect tussled on the pavement. The suspect got loose and began to flee, but he was shot with a taser gun.

The 35-year-old Norwalk man -- already wanted on a warrant -- was arrested on various charges, including possession of a small amount of marijuana and crack cocaine. One police officer sustained a minor injury to a finger, the other bruised his leg.

Norwalk police gave this account (an accusation not proven in court) of the matter:

Six minutes before midnight, police officers on patrol near Trinity Place and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive spotted James Williams driving by -- one officer, who knew Williams from previous narcotics investigations, recognized him as he drove into the light of the patrol car's headlights.

Police followed behind, saw an illegal plastic cover on the rear license plate and stopped the southbound car, a dark-colored BMW, near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Washington Street.

Officers noticed Williams appeared nervous -- he was shaking, breathing hard and it took him a while to get his license, registration and insurance card. When they checked, they found Williams was wanted on an arrest warrant from late last year.

An officer thought Williams might flee and he might have drugs on him, so he told Williams to leave the car. Williams didn't immediately comply -- instead, he looked around and started moving his hands around the vehicle. Officers told him several more times to leave the car and, eventually, he opened the door and got out.

An officer radioed a request for additional police to come to the scene, but they didn't arrive until it was all over.

An officer saw that Williams' left shoulder was lowered and he had put his hand in his coat pocket. A flip cell phone fell out. The officer told him to keep his hands out of his pockets, but Williams tried again, and an officer saw Williams had balled his hand into a fist.

The officer grabbed Williams' left arm and tried to get it behind the suspect's back. While doing this, the officer saw Williams had in his hand a clear plastic bag tied into a knot.

Williams struggled with the officers in the middle of the southbound traffic lane of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and soon he and both police officers on the scene fell to the pavement.

At this point, one of the officers injured a finger on his right hand, and the other had a minor bruise on one of his legs. And the sole from one of that officer's boots was ripped off.

Williams -- who is five feet, nine inches in height and weighs about 200 pounds -- broke free from both officers and began running toward the northbound lane. As he ran toward the median strip, he discarded the plastic bag.

But before he got too far, one of the officers shot his taser gun, hitting Williams in the back with an electric charge. He fell to the pavement and police caught up to him, taking him into custody.

They also found the bag not far away. It contained both a green, leafy substance, which tested positive for marijuana, and a white, rocky substance tested positive for cocaine. The street was wet. The bag was dry.

In Williams' jacket and jean pockets, police found cash -- mostly bills in 10- and 20-dollar denominations. Instead of being neatly folded, the money was jammed in every which way (which police recognize as common with street-level drug dealers -- they want to quickly get money in their pockets to avoid having a drug sale look like a drug sale).

Williams asked police what he was being arrested for and initially said he didn't know anything about the drugs found in the bag. Later he said the drugs were his, but were for personal use.

In his car, a 2008 BMW 528xi, police also found two cell phones, his wallet and more currency. The total amount of money on him and in the car was $541, which is a typical amount for drug dealers.

They also found a spring-release knife with a 3.25-inch blade in the driver's side door compartment. Williams said he had the knife for personal protection, because he was recently robbed.

Williams, of Muller Avenue, was served with the warrant charging him with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana. He was also charged with possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a day-care center, resisting arrest, illegally carrying a dangerous weapon, assault on a police officer and improperly displaying a license plate.

He was held on a $25,000 bond on the charges related to the arrest warrant and a $150,000 bond on the other charges. If he made bond, he was scheduled to appear Jan. 30 in state Superior Court in Norwalk. The Hour of Norwalk reported that he was arraigned Thursday and his bond was lowered to $16,500.


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