News Flash Home
The original item was published from 7/9/2018 4:30:10 PM to 7/9/2018 4:30:38 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: July 9, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Charges Filed in March AM/PM Incident

William Terrell Colbert, 39, of Merced was charged Friday with two felonies and two misdemeanors stemming from an altercation with Merced Police which began late in the evening of March 12th at the AM/PM Mini Mart on G Street and Olive.

Merced Police were dispatched to the convenience store after receiving a frantic phone call from the store clerk who said that an irate customer had threatened him with a gun after his credit card had been declined for a purchase. The clerk advised dispatch that he had locked the doors to the business after the customer, identified as Colbert, had gone to his car to retrieve what the clerk believed was a gun. The clerk can be heard on the 911 call telling dispatch that he was hiding in the cooler and to send officers immediately. 

Several police units responded to the scene and the clerk then opened the door to let other customers enter the store. Once Colbert saw the door being unlocked, and in the presence of police officers, he charged the clerk who quickly retreated back into the store. Colbert was escorted out of the store by a police officer. When an effort was made to physically detain Colbert while police investigated the incident, Colbert resisted.

The confrontation escalated when Colbert fought efforts by several officers to place Colbert in a patrol car. Once inside the patrol car, Colbert began kicking the windows and had to be removed so that he could be shacked to prevent further injury to himself or damage the patrol car. In fighting the officers Colbert sustained a dislocated thumb.

He was then taken to the hospital where he was treated and his hand bandaged. Throughout his stay at the hospital, Colbert continued to be confrontational and verbally abusive, hurling racial insults at the officers on scene. Once treated, Colbert was transported to jail without handcuffs because of his injured thumb. Upon arriving at the jail, Colbert continued to be confrontational and uncooperative. As one of the officers was attempting to get Colbert to comply with his directives, Colbert suddenly charged the officer and attempted to assault him. The officer took Colbert to the ground where several officers assisted in restraining him.

Colbert was charged with two felony counts of resisting an executive officer, one misdemeanor count of assault on a police officer and one misdemeanor count of vandalism for damaging a Merced Police Department patrol vehicle, according to Merced County Chief Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt.

All of the involved officers were wearing body cams and the charges were filed after the footage from those cameras, AM/PM store cameras and jail video was reviewed by prosecutors, according to Nutt.

“Throughout this incident, Mr. Colbert, who is African American, can be heard throwing racial insults and has alleged a racial bias in his arrest,” Nutt noted. “That claim is inconsistent with the video evidence, the fact that the store clerk is a member of an ethnic minority and that the officer who took Colbert to the ground inside the jail is also African American. Any injuries sustained by Mr. Colbert were solely the result of his own aggression and failure to cooperate with lawful orders by law enforcement. After careful and thorough review, we believe the evidence warrants these charges,” Nutt said.

Printable Press Release
Facebook Twitter Email