For Lovell Police officers Noe Garcia and Paul Asay, it probably seemed more like a scene from an action movie than a normal day at work on the evening of Jan. 31 at around 9 p.m., during their arrest of Lovell resident Timothy James Fink. The two officers were instrumental in the arrest of Fink, who Police Chief Nick Lewis said fled on foot and resisted arrest.
An off-duty sheriff’s deputy, reported to the LPD that he saw Fink at a convenience store in Lovell, knowing there was a warrant out for his arrest. Sergeant Noe Garcia responded. Fink allegedly took off running when Garcia arrived, and Garcia pursued him until he was able to intercept and literally tackle him to the ground in the parking lot of the Red Apple Supermarket at Shoshone and Main.
Lieutenant Asay, on assignment as school resource officer at a local sports event, heard the call for backup and immediately responded to find Garcia struggling to singlehandedly handcuff the suspect, who allegedly was resisting arrest.
Asay noticed a handgun in the suspect’s waistband and yelled “gun.” According to an account told by Lewis, Asay was able to secure the gun, which later was found to be loaded and was identified as a stolen weapon.
Asay assisted Garcia, who handcuffed Fink, and Fink was transported to the Police Dept. in Lovell and later to the Big Horn County Detention Center in Basin, where he is being held on the warrant.
“Investigation is ongoing into recent criminal activity and if probable cause and sufficient evidence is found to exist to file additional charges or to charge additional individuals, the County Attorney’s office will do so,” said County Attorney Michelle Burns.
Lewis said while booking the suspect, police found a substantial quantity of prescription narcotics, with no apparent prescription. They also found a knife in the suspect’s personal effects.
He also noted that Garcia was injured during the struggle and had to seek medical treatment for his injuries.
In a related warrant that included drug-related charges, James Robert Nicholson was arrested without incident the day before. The official booking record notes the two suspects as residing at the same address in Lovell.
According to court documents, Fink is being held on a bond of $500,000 and Nicholson is being held on a bond of $25,000.
By Patti Carpenter