Green River Star -

By David Martin

Struggle results in arrest


A 19-year-old man was arrested after he and an unnamed passenger were involved in an escalating engagement with a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper outside of Green River.

Ronnie Rake, 19, of Nice, Calif., was arrested Friday and plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of interference with a peace officer and speeding Monday in Judge John Prokos’ Circuit Court in Green River. Rake was sentenced to 19 days in the Sweetwater County Detention Center, with three days credit served.

The trooper, identified as Richard Rhoades in the affidavit information, wasn’t injured during the altercation. A release from the Wyoming Highway Patrol credits 911 calls from multiple witnesses driving by during the incident in helping the trooper as three other highway patrol troopers and deputies from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office quickly responded to the scene.

According to the court affidavit, Trooper Rhoades was patrolling Interstate 80 Friday morning when he observed a purple Saturn driving at a high rate of speed on the westbound lane near mile marker 96. Rhoades’ front radar clocked the vehicle at 91 mph, 16 miles over the 75 mph speed limit. Catching up to the vehicle near mile marker 94, Rhoades’ radar clocked the vehicle at 103 mph. Rhoades activated his lights and was able to stop the vehicle near mile marker 93.

Approaching the passenger side of the vehicle, Rhoades noticed a man sleeping in the passenger seat and motioned for the driver, Rake, to roll down the passenger window. Rake motioned that he could not and Rhoades told Rake to step outside of the car. After informing Rake why he was pulled over and requesting his identification, insurance and registration, Rake told Rhoades he was traveling back to California from a trip to Pennsylvania. Rake told the trooper the car was a rental he intended to buy and said the passenger was a friend he was driving to California for a visit.

Rake also told the trooper he didn’t have a job and deflected a followup question regarding how he was paying for the trip. Rake also would not specify how he knew his passenger. Rhoades became suspicious of Rake, thinking he might be involved in a smuggling operation and read him his Miranda Rights.

Rake refused to answer followup questions from Rhoades. The trooper informed Rake he and the passenger would be detained until a K-9 unit could sniff the vehicle. Rake refused a request to wait in the transport area of Rhoades’ patrol car and stated he wanted his cell phone, a request Rhoades denied due to his suspicion of Rake being involved in criminal activity.

Despite the trooper denying Rake his phone, Rake continued to walk toward the car, with Rhoades telling him multiple times to stop. Rhoades positioned himself in front of the car and Rake attempted to get around Rhoades. Rake yelled for his friend and the trooper, who has his back to the vehicle, heard the passenger door on Rake’s vehicle open. Fearing he could be attacked from behind, Rhoades then threw Rake to the ground and positioned himself over Rake. He drew his pistol and pointed it toward the passenger, who was rushing toward him.

Rhoades ordered the passenger to sit in the vehicle, a request the passenger complied to.

Rake was then handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car.


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