Shiprock man sentenced for assaulting officer

Larry Emerson Jr. has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for assaulting a Navajo police officer

The Daily Times staff
Larry Emerson

FARMINGTON — A Shiprock man has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for punching and biting a Navajo Nation Police Department officer last year.

Larry Emerson Jr., 36, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque for assaulting a federal officer, according to U.S. Department of Justice press release.

He will also have three years of supervised release after serving his prison sentence.

The unidentified officer is also commissioned through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, according to the criminal complaint.

Emerson was indicted on Aug. 23 and pleaded guilty to the charge on Nov. 28 without a plea agreement, according to the press release.

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The incident occurred on July 6 when the officer approached Emerson to investigate an alleged assault. Emerson became upset at the presence of the officer and refused commands to place his hands behind his back, according to the criminal complaint.

He attempted to punch the officer and missed, which led the officer to use pepper spray on Emerson, according to court documents.

Emerson then punched the officer in the face, breaking the officer's glasses and causing facial lacerations, according to the criminal complaint. He also bit the officer "several times on his arms, face and head," according to the court documents.

The case was investigated by the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and the FBI office in Farmington.