Prison faced in charge of hitting officer

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A Cape Girardeau man charged Wednesday with assaulting a police officer with the officer's own baton will spend at least 10 years in prison if found guilty.

David Allen Amos, 34, allegedly spit on and struck Patrolman Daryl Ferris with his own baton at the Cape Girardeau police headquarters Wednesday.

Police had arrested Amos early Wednesday morning on a county warrant for probation violation and a federal warrant from the U.S. Marshals Service for possession of dangerous drugs.

A recent change in the law has beefed up the penalty for assaulting a law enforcement officer if the assault is a serious one and if the offender has a felony record.

Because Amos is a prior and persistent offender who has two or more felony convictions, Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle filed a Class B felony charge against him for the alleged assault with the baton. That carries a range of punishment from 10 to 30 years or up to life in prison, Swingle said.

On March 11,1992, Amos pleaded guilty in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court to a Sept. 27, 1991, armed robbery of the Inland Express gas station at Fruitland.

On April 6, 1992, he was convicted of stealing following a burglary in January of that year at the Union Electric property in the 800 block of North Main Street.

According to Ferris' probable cause statement, he was placing Amos in a cell in the police department when the suspect allegedly spit in his face, then lunged toward the door with his hands clinched.

Amos then grabbed Ferris' expandable baton and hit him several times in the back of the head, causing a cut and swelling, police said.

A police spokesman said Ferris is not expected to miss any work because of the injury.

The misdemeanor charge for allegedly spitting in Ferris' face carries a range of punishment of one day to one year in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Circuit Judge William Syler set bond at $100,000. Amos remains in the Cape Girardeau County Jail.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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