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Slayton man 'in a spiritual Mecca' after his arrest allegedly tried to bite and spat water at police

Individual to be evaluated before next court appearance.

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SLAYTON — A 38-year-old Slayton man was arrested on charges of assaulting two police officers, interference with a peace officer, disorderly conduct and fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle.

Derek Clements was transported to the Lyon County Jail in Marshall following the July 25 incident, and had his initial appearance in Murray County Fifth District Court on Monday. As a result of that hearing, an evaluation of Clements was ordered.

According to the criminal complaint, officers of the Slayton Police Department responded to a call of a suspicious person in the city of Slayton at 9:13 p.m. July 25. A description of the individual was given, and an officer located Clements as he attempted to enter the back door of a residential home.

The officer reportedly asked Clements numerous questions, during which Clements either didn’t answer, gave false information or repeated the questions back to the officer. After he began talking in what sounded like a made-up language, the officer determined Clements needed to be transported to the Murray County Medical Center to see if he was mentally and physically OK.

While Clements was being evaluated at MCMC, officers reported he continued to talk in an unknown language and said he was in the middle of a “Spiritual Mecca.”


Meanwhile, Clements’ friend contacted Murray County dispatch to say Clements was having mental health issues, was prescribed medications just a few days prior and was supposed to have another doctor appointment soon.

During the evaluation, Clements reportedly left his hospital room and began to sprint down the hallway, while a police officer ordered him to stop. Clements ran through a set of swinging doors and into a wall, after which he fell and the officer was able to jump on top of Clements and gain some control.

Clements continued to fight, and reportedly smashed the officer’s hand. With help from medical staff, the officer was able to handcuff Clements. When back-up arrived, the officers moved Clements back to his hospital room and reportedly needed to continually restrain the man. Clements allegedly kicked one officer twice and another once, and also attempted to bite one of the officer’s arms. Then, after asking for and receiving some water, Clements reportedly spit a mouthful of water into an officer’s face. He continued to yell at officers when they restrained him.

Officers then determined it was no longer safe for hospital staff to have Clements remain at the hospital. Because Clements refused to walk, he was reportedly dragged by officers out of the emergency room and into a patrol vehicle.

One of the officers suffered minor scrapes and bruises during the altercation with Clements.

For each of two fourth-degree felony-level assault charges on a peace officer, Clements faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail and/or a $6,000 fine. Two additional counts of fourth-degree physical assault of a peace officer — a gross misdemeanor — carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine for each count. The gross misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process by interfering with a peace officer carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine; while a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process by interfering with a peace officer carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

On the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, Clements faces up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine; and on the misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle, he faces up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

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