Armed man arrested after crashing into sheriff’s vehicle
EVANSTON (WNE)— A tense and dangerous situation was resolved by Uinta County law enforcement without serious injury on Sunday, June 28, when an alleged intoxicated driver ran head-on into the vehicle of a Uinta County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, dispatch received a report of a wrong-way driver on I-80 at about milepost 35, traveling west in the eastbound lane.
The press release states that a deputy was in the area and attempted to stop the vehicle near milepost 32; however, the vehicle only briefly came to a stop before accelerating directly toward the deputy’s vehicle and then veering through the median to the westbound lane.
The minivan reportedly exited the interstate at a ramp near Evanston, drove down the off-ramp and then turned around quickly and accelerated back up the off-ramp toward the deputy.
The minivan crashed head-on into the vehicle of Deputy Jarrod Asay, causing it to leave the roadway and roll.
Asay was not seriously injured and was able to exit his vehicle and confront the suspected driver of the minivan, who exited his vehicle with two small children, holding one in each arm.
After numerous commands to stop, the driver, Sacramento, California, resident William Blattel, reportedly threw a handgun at deputies on scene before being taken into custody.
The children were reportedly Blattel’s, ages 3 and 6, and were taken into protective custody.
Blattel was booked into the Uinta County Detention Center on charges including aggravated assault and battery and driving while under the influence.
Laramie WYDOT office closed because of coronavirus
LARAMIE (WNE) — Laramie’s Driver Services Office was closed Monday and will be operating with limited staff and with different hours this week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Albany County cases increased to a total of 32 on Monday, one of several counties that saw increases, including neighboring Laramie County with six.
The Laramie office was closed Monday for cleaning and sanitation. WYDOT's offices statewide have implemented safety and cleaning protocols since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a release on Monday.
“I’m grateful for the timely response from our Employee Safety Office and the cleaning contractor for getting the office in Laramie ready for reopening,” Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner said in a news release. “We are working to ensure our employees and our customers are safe.”
Reiner said he appreciated the employee’s "quick action to get tested to ensure the safety of everyone."
The Wyoming Department of Transportation Driver Services Office on U.S. Highway 287 just south of Laramie will be open between 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Wednesday. A schedule for Thursday will be released when it is available. The office will be closed Friday in observance of Independence Day.
Woman gored in Yellowstone after approaching bison
CODY (WNE) — A 72-year-old California woman was gored last Thursday after approaching within 10 feet of a bison in Yellowstone National Park to take a picture.
The incident occurred Thursday evening at the female’s campsite at Bridge Bay Campground, according to a Park spokesperson.
Rangers provided immediate medical care to the woman who sustained multiple goring wounds. She was then flown via helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
This incident is under investigation.
Yellowstone is home to 4,527 bison, according to an August 2018 estimate. A male bull can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, can stand up to 6 feet tall, and run up to 35 MPH, according to the Department of the Interior.
This marks the second bison incident of 2020 as a visitor was knocked to the ground by a bison last month after getting too close to it in the Geyser Basin near Old Faithful. The woman was uninjured.
Last summer a 9-year old girl was speared by a bison at Yellowstone. She suffered no major injuries and recovered from the incident.
In 2018, a man was sentenced to 130 days in jail after caught on camera taunting a bison in Hayden Valley.
No citations in first round of coronavirus spot checks
CHEYENNE (WNE) — The first few restaurants that received a drop-in visit from the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department were appropriately following the health orders in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department Executive Director Kathy Emmons made check-in visits Saturday to two restaurants, both of which she selected from a handful of places that residents have complained about to the county health department.
"Everybody was doing a great job," Emmons said in an interview Monday. "Our goal isn't to go out and search around trying to find people, but it's when we know there are repeat offenders who are basically saying, 'We're not going to do what the orders require us to do' – that's when we're going to get involved.”
Officials from Laramie County and the city of Cheyenne announced the compliance checks last week in response to a local increase in COVID-19 cases since early June, following roughly two weeks in which the county was reporting no new cases.
The health orders currently in place require restaurants and bars to maintain 6 feet of distance between separate groups of patrons, restrict table sizes to no more than six people and post signage about social distancing.
Under state law, citations for breaking the public health order could cost from $100 to $1,000. But it would take a blatant disregard of standards to force a citation be issued to a business owner, said Emmons, who noted "we have a couple of those, too.”