A traffic stop for a seat belt violation in Brownwood early Thursday morning led to the arrest of a man on first degree felony drug charges and additional charges including assault on a public servant, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s Cpl. Taylor Fletcher, who was injured when his arm was briefly trapped in the window of the suspect’s vehicle, arrested Mykal Manzano, 31, of Brownwood at 1:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of Avenue E. Fletcher broke the window with his baton to free his arm.
Manzano was booked into the Brown County Jail on charges of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance in a drug free zone, possession of a controlled substance, assault causing bodily injury on a public servant, prohibited weapon (knuckles), resisting arrest and possession of marijuana, jail records state.
Manzano remained jailed Thursday in lieu of bonds totaling $120,000.
According to Fletcher’s report:
Fletcher saw a sport utility vehicle traveling south on Avenue E at Fourth Street and saw the driver, identified as Manzano, “fumbling with his seat belt that he was not wearing as he passed in front of me with his window down,” Fletcher’s report states.
Fletcher stopped the SUV and spoke with Manzano, who could not provide a straight answer regarding a driver’s license or insurance. The driver said he'd recently been released from prison and could not provide either, Fletcher's report states. The driver ignored Fletcher’s command to exit the vehicle and continued rummaging through items in the vehicle including a backpack.
Fletcher saw what appeared to be marijuana in the backpack and asked the driver if he had just seen marijuana. The driver denied having marijuana but said he had “edibles,” a word that refers to candy that contains THC, Fletcher’s report states.
“I confronted Manzano further about what he had in the vehicle and attempted to open the door to remove Manzano from the car,” Fletcher’s report states.
The door was locked, and the driver began rolling the window up with Fletcher’s arm inside. “I told Manzano repeatedly to roll down the window and he refused,” Fletcher’s report states.
The driver reached between his seat and the door, prompting Fletcher to think the driver was possibly reaching for a weapon. The driver rolled up the window as far as it would go, trapping the deputy’s arm between the window and the top of the door.
“I then broke the window to free myself and to remove Manzano from the car,” Fletcher’s report states.
Believing the driver was possibly armed, Fletcher removed the man from the SUV at gunpoint and placed him in handcuffs. Fletcher located just under an ounce of marijuana, 14.7 grams of gummy THC edibles and 6.1 grams of methamphetamine, Fletcher's report states.
Fletcher also located a set of metal knuckles with a built-in retractable blade.
Fletcher sustained cuts and scratches from his arm being trapped in the window.