A Shiprock man was given 37 months in prison Thursday in federal district court for assaulting a Navajo policeman.
He pled guilty to the charge on Nov. 28, 2016 without benefit of a plea agreement. After completing his prison term, he will be on supervised released for three years. Larry Lee Emerson Jr., 36, was arrested for an incident that occurred on July 6 in Shiprock after Navajo police officers found him in a vehicle parked near a trailer home just south of the 4 Corners Automotive Shop.
According to Navajo police, he was sitting in a rear passenger seat and when he saw the police officers, he became upset seeing one of the officers, saying, “If it wasn’t for that badge, I’ll kick your ass. Come to my house without that badge and I’ll fight you.”
He reportedly refused to allow himself to be handcuffed and told the officers that he was recording the incident with his cell phone. The officer then noticed that there was a small child also inside the vehicle and had a female standing nearby remove the child.
Emerson again was told to put his hands behind him so he could be handcuffed. Instead of cooperating, he clinched his hands in a fist and raised them toward the officer he yelled at before.
The officer grabbed his wrist as Emerson reportedly attempted to punch him in the face. The officer was able to pull away from the first punch but after the officers sprayed him with pepper spray, Emerson succeeded with the second, punching him in the face and breaking his glasses.
During the fight, according to his arrest report, Emerson was also able to bite the officer several times on his arms, face, and head and tried to pull the officer’s police uniform over his head to further incapacitate him. In doing so, he ripped the officer’s uniform.
Fearing for his safety, as well as the safety of the other officers at the scene, the police officer retreated, allowing Emerson to lock himself in the vehicle.
While the officer was attending to his injuries, Emerson managed to jump out of the vehicle and escape. He was arrested a month later by Navajo police and turned over to the FBI for assaulting a federal officer (Navajo police are also commissioned as special law enforcement officers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs).
He has been in custody since his arrest.
He faced a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Piñon man gets 4 years for assaulting girlfriend
GALLUP — A Piñon man was sentenced to four years in federal prison by a federal district court judge in Phoenix for assaulting a Hopi woman.
Erik Yazzie, 37, had already served four months in a Hopi tribal jail on charges related to the assault after pleading guilty to assault by strangling or suffocating an intimate partner.
According to the federal complaint, the assault took place on Aug. 9, 2014 at the residence of Alfreda Naseveama on the Hopi Reservation.
On that date, Yazzie reportedly assaulted his girlfriend, who was referred in the complaint as CK. Relatives of CK were able to stop the assault, according to the complaint.
While some of her relatives detained Yazzie, others looked after CK, who, witnesses said was covered in blood with her eyes swollen shut.
FBI agents learned that the assault occurred after Yazzie and CK got into an argument centered around family issues. During the fight, Yazzie reportedly struck CK multiple times in the face with his fist and then choked her until she almost blacked out.
Doctors later told the FBI that CK suffered facial swelling, bruising on the face and neck, a fracture of her left orbital and a laceration on her lip that required suturing.
At the time of the incident, CK had been with Yazzie for about three years, and was eight to nine months pregnant.