Man shot by Davenport officer in 2018 arrested Friday on charges related to incident
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A Silvis man was arrested Friday more than two years after a Davenport officer shot him after police say he drove his car into a squad car.
Online jail records show Nicholas Travis Warner, 51, was booked into the Scott County Jail around 9:45 a.m. Friday on three counts of assault on persons in certain occupations and one count of interference with official acts. Each charge is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
He also faces charges of operating while under the influence-second offense, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison, possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, and eluding, a serious misdemeanor.
He was released from the jail 32 minutes later after posting $20,000, court record show.
Warner will be arraigned Oct. 15.
According to arrest affidavits filed by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office:
On May 16, 2018, a citizen flagged down Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen at 6th and Division streets after a silver Oldsmobile Aurora had veered off the road, hit multiple parked cars, and was attempting to leave.
The citizen had pulled in front of the Oldsmobile to try and stop it. When the officer walked towards it to investigate, it quickly accelerated and drove off.
The car drove across the intersection of 6th and Division streets, almost striking other vehicles, then went off the roadway, striking a home.
The officer moved toward the center of the intersection with his duty firearm and commanded the car to stop.
The Oldsmobile backed up into the intersection, pointing the front of the car toward the officer. The vehicle, with an audible acceleration of the motor, drove at the officer.
A person in their car nearby saw the Oldsmobile drove towards the officer and ran their car into it to try and stop it.
The officer believed the Oldsmobile would hit him and later said he almost shot at the driver.
Several witnesses said the Oldsmobile was trying to run over the officer.
The Oldsmobile then fled north on Division Street, and officers Robert Bytnar and Michael Martin, who responded to the scene, turned around to stop the car.
The Oldsmobile turned west onto 9th Street from Division Street, almost striking other vehicles in traffic.
The car had slowed during the turn, and due to other traffic, which was blocking the car, the two officers caught up to it.
Bytnar got out of the car, gave commands to the driver to stop, and took up position at the front passenger side of the vehicle.
The Oldsmobile, while revving its engine, kept going forward and backward, eventually rammed the squad car with Martin inside and the other officer who was at the front of the vehicle.
Bytnar fired twice into the Oldsmobile, striking Warner.
Martin used the squad car to push the Oldsmobile to the side of the road against a curb and a small hill.
He then got out of the squad car and positioned himself towards the front of the Oldsmobile to assist in taking the driver into custody.
Warner was still revving his engine, causing the officer to believe he was in danger of being struck.
As officers tried to remove him from the vehicle, Warner picked up a bottle of vodka and started drinking it.
He was removed and provided medical treatment, and transported to a local hospital. He later was flown to University Hospitals, Iowa City, for further treatment.
Warner later made statements to police that he had been drinking alcohol and smoking crack cocaine. His urine tested positive for cocaine, and his blood alcohol content was .072 several hours after being transported from the scene.
Officers later searched his car and found a bag of crack cocaine and a bottle of vodka, according to the affidavit.
In June 2018, Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said Bytner’s use of force was “reasonable under the circumstances.”
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