Red Rock Man Convicted of Assaulting a Tribal Police Officer
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 26, 2010|
OKLAHOMA CITY—Yesterday, a federal jury found SONNY RAY HAZE, 28, of Red Rock, Oklahoma, guilty of assaulting a tribal police officer using a car and causing serious bodily injury, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Evidence at trial showed that shortly after 1:00 a.m. on November 1, 2009, Haze, while at the 7 Clans Paradise Casino near Red Rock in Noble County, used a car to assault a police officer with the Otoe-Missouria Tribal Police Department. The officer was responding to a call for assistance from security guards at the Casino. Evidence showed that Haze was parked in front of the Casino and was blocked in by a tribal police truck as it arrived. Evidence from eyewitnesses who were Casino security guards, as well as video surveillance recordings, showed that upon arrival by the police, Haze immediately got in his car and began to maneuver it to get around the police truck. Observing Haze’s conducts, the responding officer exited the truck and opened the passenger door of Haze’s car. Despite being ordered to stop, Haze continued to accelerate backwards and backed into the tribal officer’s truck, with the officer caught in the open passenger door. The police officer was thrown into the parking lot and sustained serious bodily injury. Haze ultimately fled the scene in his car and a high-speed chase ensued by multiple police vehicles. Although Haze was not immediately apprehended, he later turned himself in to tribal authorities. Because Haze is an Indian and the offense occurred on tribal land, federal authorities became involved and the matter was presented in federal court in Oklahoma City.
The defendant was found guilty of one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury. At sentencing, Haze faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. Sentencing will be set by the Court in approximately 90 days.
This case was investigated by the Stillwater Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ponca City Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Office of Justice Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Q. Mikkanen.