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Man arrested after allegedly fighting Haines City Police officer, trying to grab his gun

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Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 18:43:09-04

Haines City Police arrested a man who allegedly fought an officer and tried to take his gun.

It happened late Sunday night after a foot chase and altercation with an officer where police say the suspect violently tugged for the officer's gun.

Officer William Tucker responded to 1603 Bartley St. after receiving word that a suspect with an active warrant (Ervin Eugene Belford, 44) was there.

Belford ran and was caught by Officer Tucker near 1305 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Belford reportedly refused commands and initiated a fight, pulling his mic from the officer's vest and throwing punches.

Belford began tugging at the officer's firearm, trying to remove it from the holster.

Tucker was able to free an arm and deploy his Taser, causing Belford to lose his grip. Then Officer Tucker was able to handcuff him.

He regained use of his radio and called for backup.

"Every day, officers stand in the gap between good and evil," Chief Jim Elensky said. "When a suspect aggressively attempts to gain control of an officer's weapon, his intentions are clearly for the sole purpose of harming that officer. Officer Tucker was in a fight for his life and I'm beyond grateful that he won this fight."

Belford was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, includinga broken toe, swollen eye and scratches to the wrists.

Officer Tucker did not receive any injuries requiring medical attention.

Belford's criminal history includes seven different stints in a Florida state prison for crimes including manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft auto and aggravated stalking. He was most recently released in October after serving more than eight years.

"Our residents deserve to live a life free of Belford and those like him," Elensky added. "Clearly, his time away from prison was not something he cherished. I'm going to ensure he returns to the gated community that he's become very familiar with."