York City man who 'violently' resisted arrest gets time-served sentence

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

An accused York City heroin dealer who police said violently resisted arrest, assaulted officers and tried to escape from them last fall has pleaded guilty.

Francisco Miguel Rivera-Rivera, 24, of East King Street, pleaded guilty last week to resisting arrest and simple assault, according to court records.

Francisco Rivera-Rivera

As part of his negotiated plea agreement, charges of aggravated assault and escape were dismissed.

Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder sentenced Rivera-Rivera to 227 days to 23 months in prison, plus two years of probation. That amounts to a time-served sentence.

Snyder ordered the defendant successfully complete a violence-prevention program, according to court records.

After officers eventually got Rivera-Rivera into custody, he told them he has been arrested a total of three times and that all three times he fought unsuccessfully to escape, according to York City Detective First Class Andy Shaffer.

"He's zero for three," Shaffer quipped last fall.

Injuries: Several York City Police officers and detectives suffered scratches and bruises trying to arrest the man, and one officer needed medical attention and an X-ray for a bruised hand, court documents state.

York City Police drug detectives and members of the department's Nuisance Abatement Unit went to Rivera-Rivera's home about 7:10 a.m. Nov. 15 to arrest him and found him still in bed, according to charging documents.

"As officers attempted to handcuff the defendant, he began to violently resist being handcuffed and required three officers to take him to the ground," documents state.

'It was on': Police kept trying to get handcuffs on Rivera-Rivera, but he "continued to flail his arms and feet and refused orders to stop resisting and to place his hands behind his back," documents state.

"It was on," Shaffer said.

Rivera-Rivera grabbed at the officers and at the equipment on their belts and vests, and he damaged some of that equipment, police allege.

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"A total of six officers were required to forcefully detain and handcuff the defendant, requiring control techniques, closed handed strikes and more than one Taser deployment to (effect) the arrest," documents state.

Rolling on floor: The fight started in the bedroom and moved to a second room.

"It was literally upwards of five minutes that we were rolling around on the floor," Shaffer said. "He was Tased a couple times and would not comply."

Police eventually cuffed Rivera-Rivera, but he tried to escape the minute he was outside, according to Shaffer.

Rivera-Rivera broke free of one of the officers holding him and spun around to free himself from the second officer holding onto him.

Francisco Rivera-Rivera

Spun, fell, shackled: Instead, Rivera-Rivera ended up spinning himself into a parked vehicle, Shaffer said.

"Then he fell to the ground once again," the detective said.

At that point, Rivera-Rivera's legs were shackled and he was taken to York Hospital in a transport van to be treated for his own injuries, the detective said.

Rivera-Rivera is 5-feet-11 and 180 pounds, according to his charging documents.

"When someone absolutely doesn't want to be arrested, sometimes it's very difficult to get them into custody," Shaffer said. "But for someone to fight for the amount of time he did is unusual."

Drug case: Rivera-Rivera remains charged with dealing heroin.

His trial could begin as early as this month, court records indicate.

Shaffer described the man as a street-level heroin dealer.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.