Wish to be jailed denied, man finds a way: 'He's grabbing for my gun!' St. Paul cop yells

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 5, 2014 - 6:30 PM

A Hudson, Wis., man determined to be arrested fought with police and grabbed at two officers’ guns at a SuperAmerica in St. Paul before his wish was granted, according to charges.

Anthony Nickson was arrested after he grabbed for two St. Paul cops' guns.

Photo: Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office,

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A Hudson, Wis., man determined to be arrested fought with police and grabbed at two officers’ guns at a SuperAmerica in St. Paul before his wish was granted, according to charges.

Anthony M. Nickson, 49, was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with three counts of terroristic threats and two counts of attempting to disarm a police officer.

According to the criminal complaint:

Nickson entered the SuperAmerica at 296 E. 7th St. holding his hands up as if surrendering. He asked police Sgt. James Gray to take him to jail. Gray, off-duty but in full uniform and working security, said he couldn’t. A woman entered the convenience store, threw something at Nickson and swore at him.

Nickson, about 6 feet 4 inches and 300 pounds, again asked the much smaller Gray to take him to jail. Gray suggested that Nickson call a friend or stay the night at the Union Gospel Mission shelter.

“Sergeant Gray saw Nickson was no longer making eye contact but was looking at his gun belt,” the complaint read. “Sergeant Gray backed away, and Nickson again said, ‘You need to take me to jail. I’m gonna take your [expletive] gun!’ ”

Gray called for backup on his police radio. Nickson lunged at him and the two wrestled. Gray felt Nickson tugging at his holstered gun.

“He’s grabbing for my gun!” Gray yelled into his police radio.

Gray’s holster was pulled from his right hip toward his back right pocket. A strap on the holster was unsnapped, and the gun was unsecured.

Gray backed away from Nickson. Officers Reginek and Corcoran arrived, and Gray warned them that Nickson would try to take their guns.

“I’m going to take one of your guns,” Nickson said to the three cops.

Nickson disobeyed orders to get on the ground, and Corcoran struck him with a metal flashlight. The three officers struggled with Nickson, who allegedly grabbed Corcoran’s gun.

Fearing for his life, Corcoran struck Nickson in the face with a flashlight, and the officers pinned Nickson to the ground. Two employees saw Nickson grab onto Corcoran’s gun and attempt to pull it out of the holster.

Nickson was transported to Regions Hospital unconscious. He suffered “minor abrasions and cuts,” the complaint read. It did not explain why Nickson wanted to go to jail.

 

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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