Man arrested for assaulting police officer

While Ridgecrest Police Officer Brazfield was investigating the theft of a purse from inside Anytime Fitness on June 7, a local resident was identified on video as the suspect.

Officer Hamilton located the suspect, Joseph Harker, 49, walking on East Ridgecrest Boulevard. During the officer’s attempt to arrest him, Harker allegedly struck Hamilton in the face and escaped.

Other patrol units responded and a search began. The suspect was eventually located hiding in a dumpster outside the Cornerstone Bible Church on Gemstone Street.

According to police reports, stolen property from the theft was found on Harker.

Harker was arrested for suspicion of assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, commercial burglary and possession of stolen property. He was taken to Kern County Jail, where narcotics were allegedly found on his person, so an additional felony charge of possession of narcotics was added.

He is being held at Kern County Jail in Ridgecrest in lieu of $45,000 bail.

According to the RPD’s Facebook page, Officer Hamilton was not injured.

“This was a crime of opportunity which can happen anywhere in the city,” wrote an RPD spokesperson. “Please safeguard your property, as it only takes a second to grab unsecured/unattended items.”

Story First Published: 2013-06-12