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Missouri man pleads guilty to assaulting, threatening officer at Fort Leonard Wood


A southern Missouri man pleaded guilty Monday to assaulting and harassing federal officers at Fort Leonard Wood.

James W. Dickens, 32, pleaded guilty in a federal court in Springfield, Missouri, to one count of assaulting a federal officer and one count of threatening to murder a federal law enforcement officer, according to a release from the U.S. attorney's office.

Dickens admitted to driving a stolen vehicle to the north gate of Fort Leonard Wood on June 11, 2023, and telling guards at the gate that he had an ax, according to the release. After showing up at the gate, he left and led officers on a high-speed pursuit before crashing into the north gate arm, the U.S. attorney's office says.

Dickens got out of the vehicle and walked away from officers after the crash, the release says. He reportedly threatened to kill an officer as the officer drew a Taser. Dickens charged the officer with fists clenched and the officer used the stun gun, according to the release.

Dickens continued to resist and make murder threats while being arrested and he kicked and headbutted officers when removed from the police car, according to the release. Dickens also spit on an officer, claiming that he had HIV, after being put back in the car, the U.S. attorney says.

Dickens spit in an EMTs face after being put in an ambulance, as well, the release says.

He is subject to up to 18 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing has not been set.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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