Holyoke man accused of OUI, assaulting officers - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Holyoke man accused of OUI, assaulting officers

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A Holyoke man is facing several charges after his arrest over the weekend.

Chicopee Police Officer Michael Wilk said that Officer Joe Brunelle was stopped at a red light at Granby Road and McKinstry Avenue early Saturday morning when he heard skidding tires.

Brunelle looked in his rear view mirror and reportedly saw a vehicle on McKinstry Avenue skidding and striking the curb several times before stopping next to the police cruiser.

Wilk noted that the officer got of the car and saw the driver, identified by police as 28-year-old William Rivas of Holyoke, reportedly give baseball-style hand signals, like he was 'safe'.  

Brunelle approached the driver and asked Rivas for a license, which he was not allegedly able to produce.  

Wilk said that Rivas was also on the phone and Brunelle "heard [Rivas] telling someone that he had consumed beer, and was using the car to drop someone off, and he had to go back to court on the 22nd about his current open case of driving without a license."  

Rivas also reportedly told Brunelle that he would do harm to himself before being put in handcuffs.

Wilk noted that because of that statement, police then opened the driver's side door, grabbed Rivas's arm, and put one handcuff on him. 

At that point, Rivas reportedly began to resist and police reportedly told him that if he continued, he would be tased.

Investigators allege that Rivas got out of the car and as Brunelle was trying to control him, the head of the other officer, Officer Kyle Whalley, snapped back and hit Brunelle in the face.

"It was later learned the suspect punched Ofc. Whalley in the face," Wilk said.

Rivas allegedly continued to resist and was again warned that a Taser was used.  Brunelle then deployed his Taser and Rivas was subdued and placed under arrest.

Rivas is facing several charges including negligent operation of a motor vehicle, four counts of assault and battery on a police officer, operating under the influence of liquor, and operating with a revoked license due to habitual offender.  He was first transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained while resisting arrest, then brought back to police headquarters for booking.

The bail clerk set bail at $140.

Both Brunelle and Whalley were treated on-scene and returned to duty.

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