A Fernwood man is in jail after striking and threatening deputies during a traffic stop Sept. 28.

According to police reports, what began as a traffic stop due to an improperly placed license plate registration tab escalated into a search for drugs, then into a brawl between suspect Michael Cady and two deputies. Cady has since been released on a $5,000 bond, but has been charged with assault on law enforcement personnel, a felony.

Deputy Brandon Vannatter was patrolling near Fernwood at 8:17 p.m. when he encountered Cady’s vehicle on the road. He noticed Cady’s license plate was partly obstructed by a trailer hitch, and that license registration tags had been incorrectly affixed to it. Rather than being located in the lower-left, tags were affixed to three different corners, and the deputy could not determine at a glance the specific year of any of the tags.

The deputy stopped the vehicle and approached the driver, recognizing Cady from prior encounters. He explained why he had stopped Cady, and asked for his documentation. The deputy asked if there were any illegal substances in the vehicle, and Cady said no.

Deputy Dustin Pulley, who was providing backup on the stop, saw that was not true.

“Deputy Pulley was on the passenger side of the vehicle and asked Mike to hand me a marijuana roach that was in plain view in the open ash tray,” Deputy Vannatter said.

The deputies had Cady step out of the vehicle. As he did, he repeatedly reached into his pockets. The deputies ordered him to keep his hands in plain view, but Cady became defensive and pulled away from deputies, returning to the driver’s seat.

“This is bulls---,” Cady said according to the police report. “Why are you f---ing with me?”

When ordered out of the vehicle again, Cady made an attempt to run. He again had his hand in his pocket, and Deputy Pulley drew his service weapon and pointed it at him as a precaution. Deputy Vannatter grabbed Cady and pinned him against the vehicle, eventually wrestling him to the ground.

Cady continued to resist, attempting to strike at Deputy Vannatter several times. Deputies had to deploy OC spray to Cady’s face to compel his compliance.

During the confrontation, Cady pulled a black case, later identified as a glasses case, out of his pocket and handled it. He threw it away from him, and it was later recovered and found to be empty. Deputies speculated that Cady had eaten the contents during the struggle. Another metal container was found on his person with a white crystal residue inside, and a marijuana stem was found in the vehicle’s glove compartment.

Cady continued to resist officers, going so far as to threaten to kill both deputies as he was placed in Deputy Vannatter’s patrol car. He was transported to Benewah Community Hospital to be treated for his injuries and exposure to OC spray, then taken to the Benewah County Jail. He continued to threaten Deputy Vannatter’s life while he was transported.

Cady has been charged with felony assault on law enforcement personnel, as well as resisting arrest and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was released on a $5,000 bond.

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