STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. (KFVS) - An officer was seriously injured after a Molotov cocktail was thrown on him.
Tyson Heise, 34, was charged with assault first (special victim) and armed criminal action. The ATF is also seeking federal charges.
He was arrested at the scene and is being held at the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office on no bond.
According to the Ste. Genevieve Police Department, at around 12:52 a.m. on Friday, April 16, Officer Pete Unverferth responded to a call about a peace disturbance in the 200 block of St. Jude Street.
Police Chief Eric Bennett said the suspect, Heise, had been revving his motorcycle without a muffler, which led to the call.
“It was the second night in a row for the same type of call,” Lieutenant Jasen Crump said. “When the officer arrived, they were greeted in the driveway by the suspect, who at that time was already armed with a Molotov cocktail...”
Moments later, Lt. Crump said the man threw the crude incendiary device at Officer Unverferth.
“The officer was on fire. He was able to get to the ground, and do the stop, drop and roll,” said Lt. Crump. “He was able to get across the front yard.
That’s where the suspect’s family came outside and helped the officer.
“They got a garden hose that was attached to a spigot in the front, started hosing the officer down,” Lt. Crump said. “He was able to radio for backup and assistance was there in just a matter of minutes.”
Officer Unverferth was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital where he is now in stable condition.
Chief Bennett said the officer was seriously injured in what would have been considered a low-risk call.
The Perryville Police Department also posted about the incident, saying their thoughts and prayers were with the officer’s family and the Ste. Genevieve Police Department.
A division of the drug and crime department with Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted with the investigation.
A fundraiser to support Unverferth and his family has been scheduled for Friday, May 21 at Most Wanted Auction Co. in Jackson.
The event is a trivia night that includes a silent auction, raffle, contest and more.
The fundraiser starts at 6:30 p.m.