Knife-wielding man tased by deputy after sheriff threatened
By Ken Childers
A local man was tased by an Okfuskee County deputy after he allegedly lunged at his brother with a hunting knife then later brandished it at Sheriff Jim Rasmussen.
Justin Jon Sanders, 31, was arrested on May 28 and faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting an officer.
According to an affidavit, Investigator Logan Manshack of the Okfuskee County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched on May 26 to a residence on E1080 Road regarding an assault complaint. Others responding to the scene included Rasmussen and Undersheriff R.L. Wilbourn.
Manshack met with Jesse and James Sanders, who were in the process of evicting Justin, their brother, from the property and James had just served him a 10-day notice. James told Manshack that Justin threw the eviction papers to the ground then lunged at him with a knife. Witnesses confirmed James’ story.
Manshack stated in the affidavit that he and Rasmussen attempted to talk with Justin about the incident, and he became “very agitated” and began yelling at Jesse and James. Manshack said the men began bantering back and forth and continued to do so after he and Rasmussen told them to stop.
According to the affidavit, Rasmussen told Justin he was going to be arrested for lunging at his brother with a knife. Justin then took the knife, which he was wearing around his neck, and held it in “an aggressive manner” with his left hand. He moved the knife from hand to hand and started to walk backwards, away from the officers.
Rasmussen told Justin twice to drop the knife, but he did not comply and kept it in his right hand. At that point, Wilbourn tased Justin, causing him to fall to the ground. Rasmussen cut the rope that was tied to the knife and moved it away from Justin.
Manshack and Wilbourn transported Justin to the Okfuskee County Jail, where a nurse removed the taser probes, which were placed into evidence along with the taser cartridge and the knife.
A probable cause affidavit for Justin’s arrest was issued on May 28, and he was arraigned in Judge Maxey Reilly’s courtroom the following day, where he entered a plea of not guilty. Bond was set at $51,000 and a pre-hearing conference took place last Thursday.
According to court records, in 2015 Justin was charged in Okfuskee County with failure to register as a sex offender, sex offender residing within 2,000 feet of a school and entering a dwelling without permission. He was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison on the sex offender charges and one year in the Okfuskee County Jail on the other count. In June 2019, the state made a motion to revoke Justin’s suspended sentence. That motion was denied and he was ordered to be released from custody on Nov. 19, 2019.
Court records also show that in 2014, Justin was convicted in Tulsa County of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction. He was also convicted in 2009, again in Tulsa County, of failure to register as a sex offender.