Man charged in fight with Navajo police

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — A 36-year-old Newcomb man made an initial appearance today in federal court on allegations he assaulted a Navajo police officer in Shiprock.

Larry Emerson

Larry Emerson Jr. is alleged to have beaten and bitten a Navajo police officer on July 6 near the 4 Corners Automotive Shop in Shiprock, according to a criminal complaint.

The officer, who was not identified in the complaint, found Emerson in a vehicle near a trailer home after being dispatched to investigate an alleged assault. The officer attempted to speak with Emerson, but Emerson became "extremely upset," the complaint states.

"If it wasn't for that badge I'll kick your a--," Emerson said in the complaint. "Come to my house without that badge, and I'll fight you."

Emerson refused the officer's commands and attempted to strike him in the face, according to the complaint. He allegedly bit the officer and broke his glasses, despite the officer using pepper spray on him, the complaint states.

Emerson eventually fled the scene on foot, and the officer was transported to the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock for treatment.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said Emerson was arrested Wednesday in Gallup by local and federal law enforcement officials. He was charged in the U.S. District Court of New Mexico with assault on a federal officer and has not retained legal representation, court records state.

Emerson was previously convicted in November in state court of fighting a Farmington police officer. In that incident, Emerson allegedly twice punched the officer and wrestled with him while attempting to flee a traffic stop on Nov. 29, 2014, according to court records. The officer's elbow was broken in the altercation, records state.

Emerson was sentenced by Judge John Dean on Jan. 15 to time served and less than a year of probation in that incident.

Emerson was also convicted in May 2010 of arson after he set fire to a residence in Toadlena in February 2010.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.