Police use Taser gun on arrested man

A 31-year-old Steamboat Springs man was arrested Thurs--day night after police said they shot him with a Taser gun for refusing to comply with police orders during an altercation.

According to court documents and a report written by Routt County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dan Kelliher, Matthew Sheridan Wheeler refused to cooperate with police when they attempted to arrest him on suspicion of driving a car under revocation, possessing a dangerous weapon and breaking someone's satellite dish.

In his report, Kelliher said he was called to the 39000 block of Routt County Road 44 at about 7 p.m. Thursday after a report that Wheeler was intoxicated and trying to break into another home in the area.

During an interview, Kelliher said Wheeler told him he was trying to break into the home because he was upset with the residents for not allowing him to use their tractor. The residents didn't want him to use the tractor because they thought Wheeler was drunk.

The residents said Wheeler banged on their doors and tried to get into their home. They said he left after they threatened to call police. Shortly thereafter, Wheeler reportedly called the residents and told them he was going to commit suicide, police said.

Officers unsuccessfully tried calling Wheeler at his home. They then approached his home cautiously because of reports that Wheeler had a gun, Kelliher said.

Shortly after officers surrounded Wheeler's home, he emerged from the house and began walking down the driveway, according to a police report.

Police said Wheeler refused to comply with their orders to raise his arms and lay on the ground. Police said he continued to walk down the driveway and yell obscenities at the officers.

The officers eventually shot Wheeler with a Taser gun as he walked toward them, continuing to disobey their orders, according to a police report.

Although he remained uncooperative after being shot with the Taser, officers were able to handcuff him and take him into custody, according to the report.

During a search of Wheeler's home, Kelliher said he found a SKS assault rifle sitting on top of a pile of clothes in one of the home's bedrooms.

According to court documents, Wheeler was arrested on suspicion of driving under revocation because the residents of the home he attempted to break into saw him drive to their residence. He was charged with possessing a deadly weapon as a previous offender because Wheeler is a convicted felon, and he was charged with criminal mischief for breaking the satellite dish. Wheeler also was arrested on suspicion of harassment and disorderly conduct.

Wheeler appeared for his ad----visement Friday in Routt County Court, and County Judge James Garrecht set Wheeler's bond at $5,000. Wheeler is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court again at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

-- To contact Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

Community comments

Note: The Steamboat Pilot & Today doesn’t necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy.

Post a comment (Requires free registration)

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.