A West Tisbury man is being charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after allegedly hitting a police officer with his car when the officer tried to stop him for a drug investigation.
Asa W. French, 27, of West Tisbury, was arraigned March 4 in Edgartown district court on a March 2 charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a motor vehicle).
According to a statement of facts filed in court by Edgartown Det. Michael Snowden, a confidential source told police that Mr. French would be delivering “a large quantity of heroin and illegal prescription pills” to a customer near Skiff avenue in Vineyard Haven. Detective Snowden wrote that on Saturday evening, he was driving on a street adjacent to Skiff avenue when he observed Mr. French driving a white Jeep behind him. Detective Snowden said that he stopped and exited his vehicle, identified himself as a police officer and told Mr. French to stop the car.
Mr. French allegedly stopped briefly and made eye contact with the officer as Detective Snowden walked to the front of the vehicle. Detective Snowden wrote that Mr. French then slammed on the gas, causing the Jeep’s tires to spin, and in an attempt to avoid being hit by Mr. French’s vehicle, Detective Snowden said he pushed his body off of the Jeep’s hood “as he came at me at a high rate of speed” before speeding off. The Jeep’s passenger side mirror allegedly hit the detective’s left arm, leaving a minor red mark on his elbow. An hour later, Mr. French was located in West Tisbury.
Bail was set at $750 and a pretrial hearing scheduled for March 18.