Del City Man Faces Federal Assault Charge

A high speed chase from Tinker Air Force Base resulted in a federal assault charge for a Del City man. According to the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, James Williams, 60, was charged with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon after he nearly hit a Senior Airman with his SUV as he attempted to flee the base. The press release indicates that, on June 26, Tinker AFB law enforcement responded to a call of a man acting suspiciously, and when they attempted to pull him over, he tried to get away, leading officers on a high speed chase. Prosecutors say that when the airman tried to close a gate to prevent the suspect from leaving the base, Williams accelerated toward her, almost striking her with his vehicle. Williams allegedly led Tinker law enforcement and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers on a chase in which the vehicles reached speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour. Williams was identified as the owner of the vehicle involved in the chase, and he was arrested three days later. Typically, assault and battery cases are tried in the state courts. However, assault which occurs on federal property or involves a federal officer falls under the jurisdiction of the United States government. Assaulting a federal officer is found in the United States Code in 18 U.S.C § 111. In this statute, it is a federal felony to "assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with" any officer or employee of the United States government or its agencies while that officer or employee is performing his or her duties or because of the performance of those duties. This statute also pertains to the assault of former federal officers or employees when the assault is committed in relation to the person's duties during his or her time of service. The penalties for assault of a federal officer depend on certain factors of the offense:

  • Assault that does not include physical contact carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison
  • Assault that occurs during the commission of another felony or which involves physical contact with the federal officer carries a maximum penalty of 8 years in prison
  • Assault of a federal officer with a dangerous or deadly weapon or assault which inflicts bodily injury brings a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
Federal cases that occur in the metro area are prosecuted by United States attorneys in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. The Western District of Oklahoma is the largest judicial district in the state, representing 40 of the state's 77 counties. Oklahoma also has federal courts for the Northern and Eastern districts. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma is based in Tulsa and covers the following counties: Craig, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers, Tulsa, and Washington. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma is based in Muskogee and covers the following counties: Adair, Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Cherokee, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Le Flore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, McIntosh, Murray, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha, Seminole, Sequoyah, and Wagoner.