An 18-year-old Laurel man faces a felony charge after prosecutors say he tried to steal a patrol car and punched an officer in the face — while naked.
Randy Wayne Riley appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Wednesday on a felony charge of assault on a peace officer. Riley also faces three misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief after prosecutors say he damaged private property before his run-in with police.
Billings Police Department officers responded to a call on State Avenue at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, after a neighbor said a half-naked Riley had tipped a motorcycle onto a Honda Civic, damaging the car. The homeowner tried to confront Riley but Riley “charged him” and he retreated into his house for safety, the man told police, according to charges.
One BPD officer then caught up with Riley and got out of his patrol car to approach him, charges state. Riley “charged at” the officer, who drew his Taser and retreated, before Riley tried to climb into the patrol car “in an apparent attempt to steal it,” charges state.
The officer “went hands-on” with Riley to prevent him from stealing the patrol car, charges state. Riley ignored commands and began running away, south on Washington Street, prosecutors say.
When the officer drove after him, Riley, stopped running, stood in the middle of the road, turned to face the officer and took off his pants, charges state. He then “charged” the patrol car, the officer got out, locked the patrol car, and “again went hands-on” with Riley, according to prosecutors.
Riley jumped on and then off the hood of the car, as the officer pulled his Taser and issued commands that Riley ignored, charges state.
Another officer arrived and the two were eventually able to take Riley to the ground and handcuff him, but not before Riley punched one of the officers in the face, according to charges. The officers deployed the Taser on Riley’s back during the scuffle.
There were 10 assaults on a peace or judicial officer in Billings in 2015, 17 in 2016 and 16 in 2017, according to the department’s annual report.