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Courthouse struggle leads to felony charges for Pomona man


A Pomona resident with a history of refusing to comply with security procedures at the Howell County Courthouse has been charged with the felonies of third-degree assault on a special victim and resisting arrest for a felony after being arrested and removed from the Howell County Courthouse on Friday.

The arrest also followed a vague threat made by the suspect to courthouse personnel in January during a call to the FBI.

Taylor J. Nelson, 39, is held on a $25,000 bond, according to court records, and has entered a not-guilty plea and applied for a public defender. He is scheduled to make an appearance for a counsel status hearing March 25 before 37th Judicial Associate Circuit Court Judge R. David Ray.

Howell County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Bradshaw, in a statement to prosecutors, reported he was working the security desk at the courthouse and spotted Nelson in the line to be screened by metal detectors as required before proceeding into the rest of the building, where offices and courtrooms are located.

Bradshaw reported Nelson has a history of noncompliance, and when the suspect walked through the metal detector the alarm went off, indicating he had a metal object on him.

The deputy said Nelson had his hands in his pockets and told Bradshaw he refused to consent to the search when told to raise his hands in order to be scanned with a handheld metal detector. Bradshaw then told Nelson he couldn't stay in the courthouse and needed to leave, but Nelson reportedly continued to walk away from Bradshaw, ignoring his commands as he was followed to the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor.

Bradshaw reported he told him several more times to leave the courthouse or risk being arrested, and Nelson refused again. As Bradshaw tried to place Nelson under arrest, Nelson allegedly continued to resist by slapping at the deputy's hands and eventually backed up and fell onto a bench.

Bradshaw said he was still trying to place handcuffs on Nelson when the man swung his arm, striking Bradshaw on the right side of the head. During the struggle, a microphone cord was grabbed and torn in half, making it unusable, and two other deputies who were in the building assisted in detaining Nelson as more law enforcement arrived on scene.

Bradshaw concluded the report by saying that on Jan. 3 the sheriff's department received information from the FBI that Nelson had called the agency’s National Threat Center to report courthouse personnel had been committing acts of treason and "he would have to take actions to prevent them from occurring further."

Court records show Nelson field a small claims complaint in early December against a landlord who was evicting him, seeking a judgment of $700 for rent he said he paid in advance. The landlord then filed a countersuit for damages to his property, alleging an incident in which Nelson was in violation of an order of protection, and on Jan. 31, the case was resolved, ending with judgments against Nelson in both suits, but no money awarded to the landlord, noting a lack of detail in the countersuit claim that made it impossible for the court to determine a specific amount for damages.