Accused of punching a police officer in the head when confronted about stealing a wheelchair, a Riverton man now faces a felony interference charge in Fremont County District Court.
Buddy Trosper, 22, has been elevated from the Riverton Circuit Court to the felony-level district court. He’s facing one count of felony police interference, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a misdemeanor theft charge punishable by up to six months in jail and $750 in fines.
Riverton Police Department Officer Jason Hanson went to the local Walmart at about 8 p.m. Aug. 2 to check on a report of a stolen wheelchair.
He spotted two men headed down the street that runs along the Walmart lot. One was pushing the wheelchair and the other sat in it. The chair had the word “Walmart” printed on the back of it.
Hanson told the men to stop.
They identified themselves as Buddy Trosper, 22, and Lucas Sanchez, 42. They said they only took the wheelchair for fun and would be happy to return it.
But both men seemed irritated that officers had stopped them, says the affidavit filed in the case.
Hanson let them know that since they took the wheelchair off the Walmart property, they had committed theft.
Meanwhile, dispatch told officers that Trosper had a city warrant for his arrest. Hanson told Trosper as much, and Trosper became “hostile,” the document says.
When Hanson and Officer Borchardt tried to arrest Trosper, the man allegedly punched Borchardt’s left ear with his fist.
An officer — the affidavit doesn’t say which — tackled Trosper to the ground. Trosper kept resisting the officers, so they held him face-down.
Borchardt’s ear was red and painful from the punch, the affidavit says.
Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun charged the case Aug. 4. Now that it is filed in the district court, Trosper is scheduled for a Jan. 8 trial.
He is banned from the Riverton Walmart during his case, according to his bond order.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.