April 23rd, 2024

Sentencing adjourned for man who resisted arrest

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 7, 2024.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A man who called police from a motel and claimed someone wanted to hurt him, ended up getting arrested for resisting a peace officer.

At about 1:40 a.m. on October 2 of last year, Jonathan Lee Wells called police from a room at the Motel 6 on Mayor Magrath Drive South. When asked why he needed police, Wells said he was freaking out and hung up.

The police called Wells who told them he had been sleeping but woke up to an alarm. He said he was scared but everything was fine and he was safe.

An officer attended the hotel and spoke to an employee standing outside with a family member, Andrew Wells, whose forehead showed signs of swelling, and said Jonathan had hit him, but he didn’t want to press charges.

The employee asked the officer to remove Wells from the motel room, and said Wells was no longer welcome because he had been fighting and disturbing other guests. When the officer knocked on the door and identified himself, Wells refused to come to the door at first, but opened it some time later.

The officer told Wells he was no longer welcome at the motel, and although Wells appeared confused he understood the officer. When asked why he called the police, he said he didn’t.

“Wells did not appear to be completely in touch with reality, and made comments about snakes in his room,” Crown Prosecutor Marshall Gourlay said during a hearing this week in Lethbridge court of justice, where Wells pleaded guilty to one charge of resisting a peace officer.

“Wells was assured there were no snakes in the room unless he had brought them in with him.”

The officer told Wells to finish getting dressed, gather his belongings and leave, but Wells continued staring around the room. The officer entered the room to assure Wells there was nothing to worry about, and noticed on a table next to Wells an empty bag with white residue.

“(The officer) believed that Wells was suffering from, perhaps, a drug-induced paranoia and delusions, based on the snakes Wells believed were in the room.”

Given the circumstances, including the alleged assault, the officer believed Wells was a danger to himself and others, and apprehended him under the Mental Health Act. Wells resisted, however, and pushed the officer in the chest, who pushed back then shot Wells with his taser.

Wells was still able to walk out of the room, and while the officer, who had holstered his taser, struggled with Wells, another officer deployed his taser and Wells was taken to the ground. Wells continued to fight with police but was eventually contained. Gourlay noted Wells was also combative with emergency medical services and had to be sedated.

Wells is not expected to be sentenced until later this spring or summer, after the completion of a Gladue Report and presentence report, both of which will provide the judge with Wells’ background and personal circumstances to help determine a fit sentence.

Wells also faces charges unrelated to the motel incident, which are scheduled to be in court next week, ostensibly for a bail hearing.

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