Altus burglary suspect arrested after attacking officer with screwdriver

Altus_An Altus man is behind bars after breaking into a storage facility, then trying to assault a police officer using a screwdriver.  Altus Police say 45-year-old Curtis Ray Black lives only a few buildings down from where the burglary and attack took place.

Laura Smalling owns a daycare center right next door to the storage facility.  Both she and the police say an observant neighbor saw and heard the commotion from across the street.  "You know, it's really scary we've started locking the door during nap time," Smalling says.  "You know we were fortunate to have a citizen that was watching out, he was able to actually see this going on," says Altus Police Captain Michael Turner.

7News was unable to get in contact with that neighbor, but Smalling got the chance.  "Well, he used to live right there in that building," she says.  "He moved about two months ago, right across the street.  So, yeah, he's been there for years."  The neighbor called police, and when they arrived, they heard glass breaking.  It was a window on the side of the storage building.  "They were able to locate a subject that was on foot there at the mini storage building, and subsequently they gave chase," says Turner.

The pursuit led police down the side of the storage facility, over an irrigation canal, to Windsor Street, with Black threatening police the entire time.  Once apprehended, police say Black attacked.  "The subject actually pulled out a screwdriver that he was using in the burglary, pulled that out on the officers, and there was a struggle at the time with the screwdriver to get him to drop that," Turner says.

The suspect finally dropped the weapon, but not before attempting to stab the officer with it.  After a struggle, Black surrendered and was taken into custody.  He now faces multiple charges including second degree burglary, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.  Altus Police say the screwdriver Black was using is consistent with pry marks found on the windows at the storage facility.

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