Racine deputies assaulted, Milwaukee man now charged

A Milwaukee man is charged with more than a dozen counts after a violent arrest on the shoulder of Interstate 94 in Racine County.

Hezekiah Saffold, 24, made his initial court appearance Friday, Aug. 19. His charges stem from two different traffic stops and range from endangering safety to possession of a firearm by a felon to possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

In video provided by the Racine County Sheriff's Office, deputies tried to handcuff Saffold – believing there were drugs in his car – on Aug. 17. That's when things took a violent turn.

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After a struggle, Saffold ran back to his car. A criminal complaint states he tried to put the car in gear, potentially putting law enforcement and other drivers ar risk. The sheriff said Saffold was tased five times, bitten by a K-9 officers three times and pepper sprayed before deputies could arrest him. 

Saffold is also charged in a separate incident – accused of fleeing from police just days before his arrest on I-94.

"This is an extremely dangerous individual: He had a firearm in the car, he fled from officers, high speeds, no lights," Prosecutor Chris Steenrod said. "Then, roughly a week later, the highway was shut down because the defendant is resisting cops on the highway, running into the highway.

"This behavior and these drug charges, the neutrality of the circumstances, is aggravative and dangerous."

Inside the car, deputies allegedly found a handgun, cocaine and more than $1,000 in cash. Saffold's bond was set at $75,000, and he is due back in court next week.