Suspect and Taft Police officer suffer minor injuries in scuffle

A Taft man faces felony resisting police and grand theft charges on Saturday stemming from an incident where he allegedly snatched a cell phone that had been left behind.

Taft Police said the victim inadvertently left her phone in a grassy area near the Fastrip at Tenth and Kern.

When she returned, it was gone.

Taft Police were called and recognized a possible suspect identified as Zachary Rock Nelson, 31, after reviewing surveillance video, Lt. Pete Aranda said, and attempted to make contact with him nearby at Heritage Hark, where he has family.

He wasn't there the first time offices attempted to contact him, but they later returned after being told he wanted to turn the phone in. 

But the situation got out of hand when he failed to comply with officers instructions, Aranda said, and a brief struggle ensued.
Nelson suffered minor abrasion, and an offer suffered a leg injury when both went to the ground during the struggle.
Both Nelson and the officer were examined by emergency medical personnel and cleared, Aranda said.

Nelson was arrested on the two felony counts, plus a misdemeanor charge of resisting officers, and a misdemeanor warrant.

The injured officer remained on duty after the incident, Aranda said.