Officer injured during arrest

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comDecember 5, 2012 

— A 27-year-old theft suspect was taken into custody after a struggle with Atwater police on Tuesday.

Atwater police said one of their officers received a minor injury during the struggle, fracturing his hand.

Officers were called to the Target shopping center regarding a theft in progress, where they found a suspect, Daniel Lambert. According to Lt. Sam Joseph, Lambert became combative when confronted by officers and loss prevention officials.

Police said he began to curse at officers and wave his arms. Officers noticed a folding knife in Lambert's left hand.

Police said Lambert refused to comply with officers, who told him to drop the knife. The suspect began to flee from officers, who tried to detain him using a Taser, they said.

The dart from the Taser failed to make contact with Lambert, who continued running onto the Highway 99, crossing into the Atwater Iron and Metal Shop on Sycamore Avenue, Joseph said.

Atwater officers set up a perimeter and requested assistance from the Merced County Sheriff's K9 division, California Highway Patrol and the county's gang task force.

Lambert eventually was found on the property of the Teasdale Cannery, adjacent to Atwater Iron and Metal. Lambert was combative with officers again, police say. While trying to restrain the suspect, police said officer Dennis Frank fractured his left hand.

Lambert then was taken into custody.

After the suspect was medically cleared, he was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of burglary and resisting officers. Because he was on parole, he's being held without bail.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

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