SHERIDAN — A Sheridan woman was arraigned in Circuit Court Thursday for spitting on a police officer and other charges stemming from her interfering with police who were trying to break up a fight between two men.
Amy M. Bales, 42, of Sheridan, pled guilty to three charges stemming from the incident Thursday. Judge Shelley Cundiff assigned Bales $880 in fines and one year of unsupervised probation.
Sheridan Police Lt. Chris Dahmke said the officers were dispatched to a residence on the 400 block of South Sheridan Avenue at approximately 11:20 Tuesday night after reports of a fight between two men. When police arrived, two male subjects were found to have engaged in an altercation, and one of the men was bleeding from the head and face.
Dahmke said Bales got involved while police were attempting to sort out the altercation between the two men. Ultimately, it was decided Bales would be arrested and taken to jail for interfering with a peace officer and breach of peace. While she was being escorted to the police car, Bales spit in the face of the arresting officer, which caused her to accumulate another charge.
“Because of that, she was also charged with unlawful contact,” Dahmke said. “It’s a subsection of assault and battery statute, but more of a minor action than battery.”
While spitting at a police officer may seem like an extreme scenario, Dahmke said unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon.
“When you’re dealing with people under the influence, they get pretty unruly and out of control,” Dahmke said. “That actually happens pretty often with us. We have a protocol in place to decontaminate as quickly as we can.”
In this case, the officer went to the emergency room to get professional advice regarding which disinfectants would be most effective to minimize the risk of exposure to communicable diseases.
“You don’t know what people might have,” Dahmke said, adding that if saliva comes into contact with the officer’s eyes or mouth, there’s a more serious risk of infection.
The two men who fought were charged with breaching the peace, but not arrested. Dahmke said the names of citizens who receive citations are usually not released to the media until after their court appearances, which are scheduled for Aug. 27.
Bales was held in Sheridan’s detention facility until her appearance in Circuit Court Thursday afternoon.