Police investigated a cluttered house, and the investigation led to the arrest of an Ozark man on a felony assault charge.
Austin J. Williams, 25, is charged with class A felony first-degree assault on a special victim, class D felony endangering the welfare of a child and class E felony resisting arrest by fleeing. Williams was arrested May 19, and released from the Christian County Jail on $25,000 bond the next day.
One police officer suffered a broken nose, and another officer broke his hand in a fight with Williams, who was upset at potentially losing custody of his child.
Two Ozark police officers assisted a Missouri Department of Social Services employee in checking a home on South 10th Avenue in Ozark, where Williams was living with his girlfriend and their two-year-old child.
"Upon entering the residence, I observed a large amount of trash piled up in the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. There was trash piled everywhere; on the floor, the furniture, the kitchen counter tops," a police officer wrote in a probable cause statement filed in court against Williams.
Police also saw insects in the kitchen, smelled rotting meat and determined that the home was powered by a generator in the backyard.
The Department of Social Services employee initially planned for the child to go to a home in Ozark where their grandparents live, while Williams and his girlfriend worked to make the home suitable for a child.
The police followed the couple, who had the toddler in their vehicle, to a house in Ozark. That's where Williams allegedly got into an argument that escalated into a fight with police. The Department of Social Services employee explained that "he was taking emergency protective custody" of the child due to the unsafe living conditions at Williams' house.
A woman was holding the child as a police officer took hold of her arm, "to control her movement," the police officer's report reads. The woman allegedly yelled from the kitchen to the garage for Williams.
"The garage door flew open and Austin came charging directly towards (the police officer) and punched and tackled (the police officer) unprovoked," the report reads.
An Ozark police officer wrote that Williams was on the ground fighting with the first police officer. The officer who wrote the probable cause statement wrote, "I punched Austin in the back of the head one time. I became immediately aware that I injured my left hand in doing so." Due to the injury, the officer wrote that he kicked Williams in the torso, then attempted to use a TASER to subdue Williams.
The TASER probes did not deploy, but Williams heard the sound of the officer attempting to holster the TASER and "immediately became compliant," according to the report.
Two more Ozark police officers came to the scene at the second house to take Williams to jail. The two injured police officers were taken to a hospital in Springfield and treated for their respective broken bones.
Under Missouri law, a class A felony conviction can result in a minimum prison sentence of 10 years, with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.