The Norman Transcript

May 7, 2013

Two charges filed against man shot by officer

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Felony charges were filed Monday in Cleveland County District Court against the man shot by a Norman police officer May 1.

Richard Darwin Eaton, 44, was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon.

The first charge stems from an encounter with a female employee at Wendy’s Restaurant on West Main Street around noon May 1.

Witnesses advised that Eaton assaulted and injured the employee, also observing he had a knife in his hand, according to the affidavit filed with charges. Witnesses on the scene also said Eaton was demanding money before he accosted the employee.

The witnesses also relayed information to police dispatch about his clothing description.

Eaton later disclosed in an interview with police that he stabbed the female in the side of the head and walked out. He said he walked to the restaurant with “the sole purpose of ‘killing’ the female employee,” the affidavit stated.

The document stated that the victim sustained a facial laceration during the incident and has been released from the hospital.

After Eaton left the business, armed with the knife, he decided to approach the first officer who contacted him, according to the affidavit.

“Within minutes, a uniformed, on-duty, Norman officer located a suspect matching the witnesses’ descriptions walking in the 200 block of Hal Muldrow,” the document states.

The officer, later identified as Glenda Vassar, then notified others over the radio that she had located the suspect and exited her car.

“When Eaton saw her, he changed his direction of travel and walked quickly toward the officer,” the affidavit states.

Vassar saw Eaton holding a knife and pointed her issued firearm at him. She then gave “numerous verbal commands” for him to stop and drop his knife, but he refused, according to the affidavit.

“The officer retreated to a position of cover and Eaton continued to close his distance on her. The officer then fired three shots at Eaton and he fell to the ground injured,” the affidavit states.

The incident led to Eaton’s second assault charge. Eaton was treated and released from the OU Medical Center and transferred to the Cleveland County Detention Center on Friday, police said Monday.

According to an enhancement page filed with charges on Monday, Eaton has previously been convicted of or pled guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Oklahoma County. He also has been convicted of or pled guilty to two second-degree burglary charges and three charges related to forgery.

The police press release issued Monday also said Vassar has been employed with the department since September 2010. She remains on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.

Vassar was named Norman’s Officer of the Year in 2012.