MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 44-year-old St. Cloud man has been arrested after trying to steal multiple cars and spraying a cop with a fire extinguisher, according to police.
Zachary Tyler Taylor is in the Benton County Jail being held for court on several charges, including felony assault, burglary and attempted robbery.
According to police, at 6:07 a.m. on Thursday, police were dispatched to a report of an attempted car theft in progress near Highway 23 and Lincoln Avenue Southeast.
There, Taylor allegedly attempted to get into several occupied vehicles, including a dark-colored sedan stopped at the stop lights on eastbound Highway 23. When the vehicle drove off, Taylor ran to the Gateway Motel, where he tried to open several locked and unoccupied cars, police said.
Taylor then knocked on several doors of motel rooms attempting to find a vehicle. One motel guest opened the door and Taylor forced his way into the room, demanding the guest’s keys to his vehicle. This led to a fight that made its way out to the parking lot, according to police.
After breaking away from the fight, Taylor grabbed a fire extinguisher that was mounted on the outside of the motel and made his way to the Shopko Parking Lot. Once there, he demanded the keys of another victim while holding the fire extinguisher above his head in a threatening manner.
At that time, the first responding officer arrived, interjected and attempted to arrest Taylor. Taylor, however, resisted arrested and sprayed the officer in the face with the fire extinguisher, police said.
The specifics of what happened next are not clear, but police managed to arrest Taylor.
The officer was treated and released from the St. Cloud Hospital for exposure to the fire extinguisher chemical. Taylor was also treated and released for minor injuries.
No other people required medical attention.
Now, police are looking for the driver or occupants who were in the dark-colored sedan when Taylor tried to open the doors. Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-251-1200 or Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301.