A 31-year-old man went to prison Friday for punching and breaking a police officer’s nose and trying to grab his gun in April.
Jesse Lee Hare pleaded no contest to third-degree assault on an officer plus charges of attempted forgery in the first-degree and theft by deception.
Deputy Lancaster County Attorney Bruce Prenda said Hare not only broke an officer's nose, he also yelled out during the scuffle that he had the officer's gun.
"Those actions are extremely serious," he said.
At about 3 a.m. April 26, police went to SuperSaver, 233 N. 48th St., on a report of a man who pocketed a package of beef sticks and left without paying.
Police found him by the nearby Taco Bell with $48 worth of beef sticks, beef jerky, canned oysters, nutrition bars and a knife.
Hare gave a fake name, then bolted.
When an officer chased him down, Hare punched him. In the tussle that followed, the officer felt Hare pulling at his gun, but he didn't get it out of the holster.
The officer needed four stitches to close a cut on his broken nose.
In January, police arrested Hare on theft and forgery charges for making more than $1,000 in purchases on a store account where he no longer worked and for renting a hotel room with counterfeit cash.
On Friday, Deputy Public Defender Shawn Elliott argued for probation with drug treatment, saying Hare's addiction to meth fueled the crimes.
District Judge Andrew Jacobsen said Hare had taken things to a different level when he assaulted the officer and that he was lucky police didn't use lethal force when he said he had the officer's gun.
He sentenced him to two to four years in prison, with credit for 112 days served.