RACINE, Wis. (WFRV) – A traffic stop turned violent on Wednesday after a Wisconsin man tried to run from the police after a speeding violation in Racine.

According to a release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, deputies pulled over a vehicle for driving 91 mph in a 70 mph zone around 11:15 a.m. on August 17.

During the traffic stop on I-94 northbound, officers noticed a backpack on the passenger seat. Officers say that they saw the driver move the backpack to the backseat when deputies returned to their squad car to run the driver’s criminal history.

The release states that a K9 unit was requested after learning that the driver, Hezekiah Saffold, had two prior convictions, including armed robbery, and two Possession with the Intent to Deliver charges, both dating back to 2016.

While Saffold was outside of the vehicle, a K9 gave a positive alert for the presence of contraband during an ‘open-air sniff.’

Deputies say that while trying to detain the suspect, he ran back to the vehicle. A deputy was able to tackle Saffold, and while on the ground he was also bit by the K9. However, Saffold was able to get away and run to the passenger side of the vehicle but before he was able to enter, a deputy turned off the car through the driver’s side.

A struggle then ensued after Saffold was able to move to the driver’s seat. Deputies state that Saffold was bitten by the K9 three different times, was tased five times, and was OC sprayed twice during a “continued physically struggle with the suspect who was assaulting them and trying to escape.”

Hezekiah Saffold_mugshot
Photo credit: Racine County Sheriff’s Office

While in custody, the deputies called for rescue to medically treat the 24-year-old from Milwaukee.

While several deputies suffered scrapes and bruises, no law enforcement officers were seriously injured. Saffold was transported to the hospital where he was medically cleared and then transported to the Racine County Jail.

Items found inside the vehicle and the backpack include:

  • A Glock 19, 9mm handgun with an extended magazine with 25 rounds plus one round in the chamber
  • An empty magazine
  • 2.1 grams of cocaine
  • Six pills of amphetamines
  • Four cell phones
  • $1,175 of US currency
  • An electronic scale in the glove box
  • An electronic scale under the driver’s seat

“I want to publicly thank all law enforcement officers, especially Racine Deputy Sheriffs, who put their lives on the line each-and-every day to protect the community,” said Sheriff Christopher Schmaling. “At the end of the day, the Sheriff’s Office is committed to serving the community, prevailing when attacked, and safely going home to our loved ones.”