Officers injured during struggle with alleged drug suspect

Two police officers were slightly injured Thursday morning as they scuffled with a man who allegedly tried to eat suspected drugs after the officers stopped the car he was driving.

According to a probable cause affidavit from Vice and Narcotics Detective Michael Battles, Detective Jeremy Funderburg possibly broke his ankle, and Battles had injuries to his face after a struggle with Carl Crutchfield, 27, in the area of 18th Avenue and Olive Street.

Battles said in the affidavit that the detectives saw Crutchfield driving a vehicle at Harding Avenue and Olive Street and tried to stop the car because Crutchfield was allegedly not wearing a seat belt. After turning on the police vehicle’s emergency lights, Battles said Crutchfield tried to stop, slammed on his brakes and hit a curb before pulling into a driveway and stopping.

During a court hearing Friday, Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer said when the detectives approached the car, they saw Crutchfield putting a clear bag containing suspected drugs in his mouth and start to chew.

After pulling Crutchfield out of the vehicle, he fought with the detectives until they, and other officers who arrived to help, managed to subdue Crutchfield and get handcuffs on him.

A second bag of suspected drugs and more than $1,400 in cash was found in the vehicle and on Crutchfield’s person.

Kizer said because Crutchfield tried to eat the suspected drugs, he was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center and a search warrant was obtained for blood samples to be taken.

According to the affidavit, when Crutchfield was taken to the hospital, he allegedly said “Man, I shouldn’t have swallowed that (expletive).”

Kizer said Crutchfield had prior convictions for aggravated robbery, theft of property and being a felon in possession of a firearm and is “probably on parole.”

Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $50,000 cash only bond for Crutchfield Friday after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with second-degree battery, possession of a controlled substance and with tampering with physical evidence.

Crutchfield said he would hire his own attorney.