Onalaska man convicted of Assault of a Public Servant

A Polk County jury deliberated for a little over an hour Tuesday afternoon before finding Steven Lane Lucas, Jr., 33, of Onalaska, guilty of the third-degree felony offense of Assault of a Public Servant, stemming from a July 2016 incident at Lucas’ residence at 153 Shady Ridge Drive in Onalaska. 

Testimony presented in the 411th District Court of Judge Kaycee Jones on Tuesday established that on the date of the incident, Cassidy Lawrence, the mother of Lucas’ daughter, had contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and expressed concerns for Lucas’ well-being after he told her in a telephone conversation that he had been drinking and consumed a large quantity of pills.

Onalaska Police Officer Dakota Hernandez and Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Norris were dispatched to Lucas’ residence to conduct a “welfare check” on Lucas.  Upon arrival that evening, officers observed Lucas lying on the floor of the residence apparently unconscious.

The officers forced entry through the front door of the residence, summoned EMS, and immediately began efforts to revive Lucas.

According to the testimony of Hernandez, Lucas quickly began to become alert at which time he became belligerent toward the officers insisting that they had no right to be in his home and threatening to assault Hernandez.

When the officers identified Lucas and ran his personal information through the Sheriff’s Department dispatcher, it was learned that Lucas had an outstanding arrest warrant from San Jacinto County for violating the terms of a criminal probation.

According to testimony from both Hernandez and Norris, once Lucas was placed in hand restraints and escorted to a patrol car, he continued to behave in an aggressive and confrontational manner and kicked Hernandez in the groin. Hernandez testified that even after Lucas was placed in the rear of his patrol vehicle, and while en route to the jail, Lucas continued to threaten him and repeatedly banged his head on the plexi-glass divider inside the patrol car.

Upon arrival at the jail, Lucas’ violent behavior continued requiring placement in a restraint chair and housing in a padded cell for violent offenders.

In his closing remarks to the jury, Polk County Criminal District Attorney Lee Hon implored the jurors to “do everything they could to protect our law enforcement officers who place themselves in harm’s way for us on a regular basis.”

“These officers were simply doing their jobs and trying to help Lucas’ when he turned against them and unnecessarily created a hostile situation by acting in such a violent manner,” Hon continued.

Hon attributed Lucas’ aggression to the fact that “he was intoxicated, knew he was wanted in San Jacinto County and did not want to go back to jail.”

Following the trial, Hon commended both officers for the professional manner in which they handled the volatile circumstance created by Lucas.

“There was simply no excuse for Lucas’ assaultive behavior toward these fine officers who were just there to help him,” Hon concluded.

A sentencing hearing for Lucas, who elected to be sentenced by Judge Jones, is scheduled for Sept. 16 in the 411th District Court. Lucas faces a potential punishment of two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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