Incident ends with man who allegedly approached police with knives tased and arrested |

Incident ends with man who allegedly approached police with knives tased and arrested

Police say a Craig man, who is a registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal history, advanced on officers with knives in both hands before being tased by police Tuesday afternoon.

Melvin Rowton, 48, of Craig, came into contact with Craig Police at the Elkhorn Apartment complex Tuesday about 4:30 p.m. when officers were called by a party at the complex who claimed Rowton had hit the party.

Melvin Rowton

Rowton, who police reports indicate was convicted in 2006 of felony menacing, in 2008 for second-degree assault to cause injury with a deadly weapon, and is listed as a sexually violent predator, was contacted by police in an apartment at the complex. Police say he acted aggressively, picked up a machete-like weapon and eventually advanced on the two officers present with that weapon and another knife.

The warrantless arrest affidavit filed and signed by Craig Police officer Tracy Mendoza states that Mendoza and a partner, Sgt. Anthony Fandel, drew their firearms and trained them on Rowton when the latter initially picked up the machete-like weapon. Per the report, Rowton alternately stepped toward the officers with the weapon, put the weapon down, threatened to fight with the officers verbally, and then eventually, after some conversation between police and Rowton, picked up the weapon and a smaller knife and advanced on police.

During the exchange, Mendoza writes in the report that he switched from his firearm to his Taser while Fandel kept his gun drawn. When Rowton eventually advanced on police, with a knife in each hand per the affidavit, it was Mendoza who deployed his weapon. The taser, the report states, stopped Rowton, allowing Fandel to get on top of him and restrain him. Mendoza reports he then removed the knives, and, with Fandel, searched Rowton and placed him into handcuffs.

Rowton was transported by patrol car to Memorial Regional Health, where he was evaluated and released to be transported and booked into Moffat County Jail.

Rowton is charged with two counts of menacing (threat/fear of severe bodily injury with a deadly weapon or threat of a deadly weapon), both fifth-degree felonies, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, also a fifth-degree felony, and two counts of attempted second-degree assault on a police officer, among a series of other charges. He’ll appear in court Jan. 6 at 8:30 a.m. for an arraignment.

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