Police: Cottonwood shoplifting suspect grabs officer’s genitals during arrest

Eric Robert Severson

Eric Robert Severson

COTTONWOOD – While resisting arrest, police said that an alleged shoplifter grabbed an officer’s genitals and tried to bite him and another officer before he was placed in handcuffs Wednesday.

Around 7:30 p.m. that day, 37-year-old Eric Robert Severson was arrested on several charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest, according to a news release from the Cottonwood Police Department.

Sgt. Monica Khult said in the release that officers responded to a business in the 800 block of N. Main Street in Cottonwood for a report of a shoplifter who left the store.

The caller provided the description of the adult white male including the clothing he was wearing, said police.

When the officer arrived on scene, said Sgt. Kuhlt, he saw Severson matching the description in the area. However, Severson was wearing a different colored shirt than reported, according to the release.

Police said the store clerk pointed out Severson as the shoplifter who had taken coffee and pastries. The store clerk wanted him cited for trespassing.

Sgt. Khult said when the officer contacted Severson, he refused to identify himself and walked away. The officer continued behind him explaining that he needed Severson’s identification, stated the release. The officer tried to take Severson into custody in the area of Lion’s Park at Willard Street and Main Street, the release continued.

“Severson actively resisted. A sergeant arrived on scene and assisted in taking Severson into custody. During the apprehension Severson grabbed one of the officer’s genitals and tried to bite both of them before he was placed into handcuffs,” said Sgt. Kuhlt.

After the arrest he was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the release. He was booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center for aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia; all felonies and refusing to provide true name, a misdemeanor.