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Fenton Man Charged in Assault on Jeff Co. Deputy

Cpl. Eric Stotler was hit by a car Wednesday driven by a suspect fleeing arrest at the Jefferson County jail.

A Fenton man has been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with a collision involving a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy.

Cpl. Eric Stotler, of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, is recovering today after being hit by a vehicle of a suspect evading arrest at the Jefferson County jail on Wednesday. Sheriff's Capt. Ron Arnhart said Stotler received severe bruising from the incident and was released from the hospital yesterday.

The Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office has charged Jacob Steffenauer, of Fenton, with assault on a law enforcement officer, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest.

Steffenauer, 24, went to the jail to turn himself in on an existing warrant, according to a probable cause statement. After notifying staff and showing his ID, Steffenauer changed his mind about turning himself in and left prior to being arrested.

Stotler approached Steffenauer who had gotten into his vehicle and directed him to stop because he was under arrest, according to the statement. Steffenauer then struck Stotler with his vehicle and led police on a chase through South St. Louis County where he lost control of the vehicle and crashed.

After being arrested, Steffenauer admitted to police that he knowingly struck Stotler because "he simply did not want to go to jail."

Steffenauer is being held at the Jefferson County jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

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