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    Houston, Missouri man pleads guilty to assaulting officers at Fort Leonard Wood

    By Jessica Hammer,


    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man from Houston, Missouri pleaded guilty in federal court to assaulting and threatening federal law enforcement officers at Fort Leonard Wood.

    According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, 32-year-old James W. Dickens pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a federal officer and one count of threatening to murder a federal law enforcement officer.

    On June 11, 2023, Dickens drove a stolen vehicle to the north gate of Fort Leonard Wood just after 1 a.m. He showed officers at the gate an axe he had in the passenger seat while acting erratically, according to the release, then fled the area.

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    After a pursuit, Dickens crashed the vehicle into a drop arm at the north gate and started yelling and cursing at officers as they surrounded the vehicle. The release states Dickens got out of the vehicle and walked away from the officers, then threatened an officer who drew his taser. In court, Dickens admitted saying, “If you tase me, I will kill you” or words to that effect, the release said.

    Dickens then charged at the officer with clenched fists, and the officer tased him. Dickens fell, but continued to fight with officers as they tried to take him into custody.

    Even after being handcuffed, the release said Dickens continued to be hostile toward officers and paramedics, threatening to kill them, spitting on them and screaming.

    Dickens could face up to 18 years in federal prison without parole.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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