December 5, 2012

Theft suspect arrested after struggle with Atwater police

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 the 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.

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.

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 Multi-Agency Gang Task Force.

Lambert was eventually found hiding on the property of the Teasdale Cannery, which is located adjacent to Atwater Iron and Metal. Lambert was combative with officers again. While trying to restrain the suspect, police said Officer Dennis Frank's fractured his left hand.

Lambert was then taken into custody.

After the suspect was medically cleared, he was booked into 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 rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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