A local judge has ordered the jail release of a mentally troubled Kingman man who was shot by a police officer following a vehicle pursuit last fall. Frederick Coles, 64, had served 235 days in the Mohave County jail by the time his released was ordered during his July 9 sentencing hearing.
Police reports indicated officers responded last November 15 to a report that a person had threatened to blow up the fuel island at the Flying J Truck stop on Andy Devine Avenue in Kingman. Cole reportedly greeted arriving officers with a one finger salute before leading them on a chase through portions of north Kingman.
An independant investigation conducted by the Lake Havasu City police department concluded that Coles twice tried to use his vehicle to ram another driven by Kingman police officer Zachary Clark. The report said Coles stopped abruptly in the vicinity of DW Ranch Road and Interstate 40, exiting his vehicle with a knife while refusing commands to drop the weapon.
Coles dropped the knife when shot by Clark and was finally subdued after a taser was deployed. Coles was treated for the minor gunshot wound at Kingman Regional Medical Center.
Coles was convicted of aggravated assault through a plea agreement entered inJune.
Judge Billy Sipe told Coles he is fortunate to have survived his encountered with law enforcement.
“You’re lucky that the police were not better marksmen,” Sipe said. “They are trained to shoot to kill.”
Sipe said it is clear that Coles has long suffered mental health problems including personality disorders and spells of delusion. He said there’s no question that Coles was suffering a mental health breakdown when he led officers on the pursuit last fall.
Sipe said he didn’t think any additional jail time should be imposed. He placed Coles on probation for four years and ordered his release from custody following sentencing.