A Toledo man and his girlfriend were found guilty of assault Wednesday for punching a Toledo police officer and driving off as he was leaning into their vehicle.
James Miller, 27, of 2915 Glanzman Rd., and Kayla Braithwaite, 25, of 1113 Kirk St., Maumee, entered Alford pleas to the fourth-degree felony before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction that could result in a more severe sentence.
Both had been indicted on more serious charges of felonious assault.
Frank Spryszak, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court that Officer Gregory Wallace had stopped at a Sunoco station at 4711 S. Detroit Ave. on his way to work June 8 when he saw Miller, who was the subject of an arrest warrant for domestic violence involving Braithwaite.
When the officer approached, Miller circled around Braithwaite’s vehicle and jumped into the back seat, prompting the officer to reach in through the driver’s side window and pull out the ignition key. Mr. Spryszak said Miller struck the officer in the face, put a spare key in the ignition, and told Braithwaite to “Go, go, go.”
Mr. Spryszak said Officer Wallace was still holding on to the steering wheel and was dragged a short distance when Braithwaite drove off, resulting in some “surface abrasions and scratching.”
Each faces up to 18 months in prison when they are sentenced Aug. 25.
Both defendants’ attorneys requested their clients’ release from jail on supervised recognizance bonds until sentencing, but Judge Zmuda declined.