Police have arrested a 33-year-old Stockton transient in the Nov. 22 pepper spraying of a Manteca fire engineer during an attempted theft of communications equipment from a fire engine parked in front of the Boys and Girls Club in the 400 block West Alameda St.
The altercation took place while firefighters were inside the Boys and Girls Club working the telephones during the annual telethon held to raise funds. The firefighter was taken to Doctors Hospital by ambulance where he received first aid to irrigate the chemical from his eyes.
Brian Michael Williams was arrested by Manteca Police officer Aaron Montoya shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday after he was seen kneeling between vehicles in the 400 block of East Yosemite Avenue. He was allegedly siphoning gasoline from a moving truck.
Montoya reported that Williams was driving a stolen white sedan that had been taken during a recent home burglary. Valuables taken from other residential burglaries were also discovered in the vehicle, police said.
The officer came across an Oakland A’s baseball cap matching the description of one worn when he allegedly accosted the engineer. Also found in the car was an empty pepper spray canister, police said, along with a box of ammunition and burglary tools.
Williams had two felony warrants out for his arrest, according to officers.
Police public information Officer Jason Hensley said the fire engineer who had been assaulted was shown a photo lineup saying he identified Williams as the man who had accosted him at the cab of the fire engine before the scuffle ended and he rode off on his bicycle.
The stolen car he had in his possession had been taken from a residence in the 400 block of Amador Circle, police said.
The suspect is charged with the felony use of tear gas on a peace officer, being a felon in possession of ammunition, auto theft, possession of burglary tools and for using tear gas as a weapon without a permit.
Of the two outstanding warrants, the first carried a “no bail” order for possession of a controlled substance, being a felon in possession of ammunition, possession of burglary tools and a charge of driving under the influence. The second felony warrant was for only $20,000.
Fire Chief Kirk Waters said the man had allegedly attempted to take the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or motherboard from the cab of the engine.
He explained that the equipment represents movable data terminals that help firefighters view information contained in the laptops that are part of the equipment found inside the fire trucks that assist personnel responding to emergencies.
Williams is being held without bail in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp. His court date has been set for Monday, Dec. 5, in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.