Richard Miller, Acting "Crazy" at a Mesa CVS, Attacks Cop to Protect Bag

No cop is going to look into this bag, Richard Miller must have thought early this morning at a Mesa CVS Pharmacy.

A Mesa officer arrived at the CVS, 305 East Brown Road, about 4 a.m. after receiving reports of a troublesome trespasser. He found Miller, walking in circles and talking to himself near a "no trespassing" sign on the property.

Miller was "acting crazy" and kept dipping his hand into a bag he was carrying, Mesa police spokesman Sergeant Tony Landato says. The officer, wary of his safety, asked Miller to stop reaching into the bag. But Miller persisted, so the cop reached out and tried to snatch the bag away from him.

Overly sentimental about the bag or its contents, Miller proceeded to attack the officer, pounding him in the face and head. The cop whipped out his Taser and fired, but the electric blast was "ineffective," Landato says. The spokesman elaborates that the Taser's two probes likely didn't make full contact with the suspect's body.

Backup officers arrived and used their Tasers. Miller hit the ground, was handcuffed, and taken to a hospital on his way to jail, where he was booked on suspicion of criminal trespassing and aggravated assault on a police officer.

The cop was treated for a swollen eye.

Why Miller was so worried about the bag isn't clear -- it had "nothing of note" inside, says Landato.

Police aren't sure whether the man was on drugs, mentally ill, or just feeling feisty.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.