An Ashland man who Paintsville Police Department officers were attempting to pick up on a warrant from Boyd County became combative last weekend, throwing pepper spray back at corrections employees, according to court documents.

The citation said that PPD Officer Zach Mitchell was attempting to place Willard Fraley, 33, of Ashland, under arrest for outstanding warrants and Fraley became “loud and irate, screaming profanity and racial slurs” within the view and hearing range of “no less than four people.”

PPD Officer Zach Stapleton was assisting at the scene, according to the citation, and presented his pepper spray, advising Fraley to comply or he would be sprayed, at which point Fraley was taken into custody and placed in the rear of Mitchell’s patrol vehicle.

While en route to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, Fraley was “moving around in the back seat, as if he was attempting to slip his cuffs and he leaned as if to take a blow at (Mitchell’s) back window and knock it out,” at which point Mitchell activated his emergency lights and pulled his vehicle over. Mitchell and Stapleton then decided that Fraley was not a danger and was still secure in his cuffs, continuing on to the BSRDC to lodge him.

When Mitchell, Fraley and Stapleton arrived at the jail, corrections employees took custody of Fraley and, due to his combative nature, the citation said the corrections employees escorted him to the changing room, where they deployed pepper spray to gain compliance.

Fraley then threw the spray “back at them” and then “spit at” the three corrections officers handling the situation, according to the citation.

Fraley was then lodged without further incident on charges of failure to appear, 2d disorderly conduct and third-degree inmate assault on a corrections employee. Fraley remained lodged in the BSRDC as of presstime Friday.

A pretrial conference in Fraley’s case is set for Oct. 16.

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