Officer hurts knee in arrest at fair

Another officer was forced to point a taser to keep the crowd back from the scene of the arrest.

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WALLA WALLA - An arrest at a busy Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days on Friday night ended with one police officer injured and a second officer having to point his taser at the crowd to keep control of the situation.

According to Walla Walla Police Sgt. Randy Allessio, two city police officers recognized a suspected wanted on a Walla Walla County Sheriff's Department warrant and proceeded to make an arrest at around 11 p.m. Friday in the area of the Ferris wheel.

According to Allessio, the suspect, Fausto Diaz-Lara of Milton-Freewater, was argumentative and eventually tried to walk away from the officers. That is when the two officers apprehended Diaz-Lara, who then physically resisted arrest, Allessio said.

One officer apparently hyper-extended his knee while struggling with the suspect, which left him incapacitated on the ground. The other officer continued to hold down the suspect while a call for backup was made. It was during this time that the officer holding down the suspect had to pull his taser to back away three family members of Diaz-Lara, as well as the dozens of other people who closed in to watch the arrest.

A deputy then arrived on the scene, took a taser from the downed officer and proceeded to help clear a safe area between the officers and the crowd. Eventually, several officers arrived and the scene was secured, Allessio said.

No tasers were fired, and the injured officer was transported to an area hospital, where it was determined he had no broken bones or fractures.

Diaz-Lara was arrested on investigation of obstructing an officer, third degree assault, resisting arrest, dangerous weapons violation and other drug related charges.

Allessio added that the arrest was not connected with gang activity and that the injured officer is currently recovering on crutches.

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