Crime

Police arrest man accused of punching officer and running away

Lexington police arrested a man suspected of punching an officer Wednesday. The alleged assault happened about 11:40 a.m. at Woodland Park, and the man eluded police for about 90 minutes. He later was arrested on Euclid Avenue after a short foot chase.
Lexington police arrested a man suspected of punching an officer Wednesday. The alleged assault happened about 11:40 a.m. at Woodland Park, and the man eluded police for about 90 minutes. He later was arrested on Euclid Avenue after a short foot chase. Herald-Leader

A man is facing charges of punching a Lexington police officer and then leading police on a foot chase Wednesday morning.

Lt. Raymond Roller said police were called to Woodland Park about 11:40 a.m. after receiving reports that a woman was being threatened. When an officer arrived, Gabriel Witherby, 37, punched him and took off running, Roller said.

It took police more than an hour to find Witherby near Woodland and Euclid avenues. Police officers sprinted after him, tackled him, and arrested him.

Police put a spit hood over Witherby's head and tied his legs together before carrying him into a police wagon.

Roller was not sure whether Witherby was intoxicated or had mental health problems, but Witherby could be heard cursing and seen kicking.

Lt. Clay Combs said Witherby was charged with third-degree assault, fleeing and evading police, and resisting arrest. He was taken to the Fayette County jail, where he was to be evaluated; he was being held on a $9,500 bond.

Witherby also has five outstanding warrants from Franklin County, jail officials said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

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