Man allegedly fires arrow at officers; 12 charges

Wesley Snyder's mug shot. (Jan. 20, 2015)


BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Big Rapids man is accused of trying to kill two police officers after he allegedly shot an arrow at them.

Wesley Snyder, 27, was charged Tuesday with 12 felony charges:

  • Two counts of attempted murder
  • Seven various assault charges
  • Three counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer

The two Big Rapids Department of Public Safety officers went to Snyder’s home at Apple Ridge Apartments on Friday afternoon to get his statement about a Jan. 10 assault at the complex in which Snyder was a suspect. Big Rapids DPS Director Andrea Nerbonne told 24 Hour News 8 on Wednesday that the officers did not plan to arrest him.

“They were just there to talk to Mr. Snyder at that time,” she said.

When officers arrived at Snyder’s apartment, according to a release from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, he ambushed them with a bow and arrow. He allegedly fired arrows at the officers and then charged at them. Though he was carrying a knife, he did not use it.

“Deadly force was justified in this situation,” Nerbonne said.

The officers drew their guns on Snyder, but decided not to open fire.

The officers defended themselves in what Nerbonne described as hand-to-hand combat. In the struggle, Snyder and one of the officers — Sgt. Jim Eddinger — fell down a flight of stairs. The other officer then used her Taser on Snyder several times before the officers were able to handcuff him.

Wednesday, Nerbonne praised the pair for not shooting Snyder.

“Their training kicked in,” she said. “It was a fight or flight situation and they fought. They fought together and it was their teamwork that helped them prevail.”

Authorities say Eddinger sustained multiple cuts and lacerations to his face, including a injuries to his eye and eye socket after Snyder jabbed at his eye with his thumb. Eddinger is expected to make a full recovery.

The Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office is asking an outside agency to handle the case.

Snyder is being held at the Mecosta County jail on a $5 million bond. He is due back in court next week.

“He’s not a stranger to our department,” Nerbonne said.

Nerbonne declined to comment further about Snyder’s past. However, a juvenile record from neighboring Osceola County shows that Snyder pleaded no contest to an assault and battery charge when he was just 15 years old.

In a Wednesday afternoon phone interview, Snyder’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 that her son has autism and mental health issues. She said he has never been violent like this before. She said he had been doing well for years, but that his mental health deteriorated over the past few months.

If convicted of attempted murder, Snyder could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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