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Fulda man accused of spitting on officers makes initial court appearance

Coffel

SLAYTON — A Fulda man appeared Monday in Murray County District Court on charges related to an alleged incident involving combative behavior toward peace officers and EMTs.

Jacob C. Coffel, 26, has been charged with fourth-degree assault of peace officer — throws/transfers bodily fluids or feces at or onto officer, a felony; obstruct legal process — interfere with peace officer, a gross misdemeanor; disorderly conduct, fifth-degree assault — inflict or attempt bodily harm and two counts of contempt of court, all misdemeanor offenses. The felony-level offense is punishable up to three years imprisonment, a $6,000 fine or both.

According to the criminal complaint, the charges stem from an alleged July 10 incident at a Fulda residence, which officers responded to for his welfare due to a report of mixing controlled substances and prior history. Upon arrival and Coffel’s noncompliance, an officer forcibly entered the room and struggled with Coffel. The struggle included Coffel’s alleged attempt at burning the officer with a lit cigarette, but was unsuccessful.

The complaint details obscenities and lewd remarks that Coffel yelled and gestured as the struggle to safely secure him on the gurney ensued. The complaint graphicly details that, throughout the attempt to secure Coffel, he transfered bodily fluid onto the officer.

The complaint also details other repulsive and vile behavior emergency personnel endured throughout the ambulance transport to Murray County Medical Center.  

Coffel was airlifted to a Sioux Falls, S.D. hospital for further treatment.

According to Coffel’s criminal history, similar charges filed after an alleged February DWI incident are pending in Nobles County District Court.