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Elderly Utah man accused of pinning deputy with wheelchair

July 12, 2005
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Elderly Utah man accused of pinning deputy with wheelchair

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY- A 73-year-old man faces criminal charges alleging he repeatedly rammed a sheriff's deputy with his motorized wheelchair and tried to take the officer's gun.

John T. Snyder was charged Monday with felony disarming a peace officer and misdemeanor counts of assault and interference with an officer.

According to court papers, Salt Lake County Deputy Christopher Maez went to a Wal-Mart on July 4 after managers complained that Snyder entered the store even though he had been banned.

When Maez asked Snyder to go outside to discuss the complaint, Snyder allegedly drove his wheelchair into the deputy's legs and cursed at him. Maez told him to watch his language, and Snyder allegedly propelled his chair into the deputy's legs twice more, pinning him against a produce stand.

Snyder drew his weapon and told Snyder to back off, but Snyder stopped only after Maez instead used his stun gun on him several times, according to the court papers.

There was no immediate explanation why Snyder was banned from the store. Wal-Mart officials didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday, and Snyder does not have a listed phone number.

Arraignment was set for Sept. 12.

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