Man arrested for assaulting Chadron Police officer

A Chadron man is in the Dawes County jail after allegedly assaulting a Chadron police officer early Wednesdsay morning in what appears to have been a drug-fueled episode. 24-year-old Joseph O. Dirks is being held on $10,000 bail.

Police Lt Rick Hickstein says Sgt Jarvis Wallage responded to a convenience store shortly before 3 am on a call about a man having an alleged "psychotic episode" and asking for a knife.

As Sgt Wallage arrived, two men left the store and one of them went to the driver's side door of his patrol car and began screaming and pounding aggressively on the window, almost breaking the glass.

Wallage backed the car away and, after reaching a safe distance, got out. The man "aggressively charged" with his fists clenched at Wallage, who used his Taser to incapacitate Dirks and take him into custody.

Lt Hickstein says that once in custody, Dirks showed signs of a drug-induced psychosis from the hallucinogenic drug DMT. He was taken by ambulance to Chadron Community Hospital, then transferred to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff for observation.

Dirks was released from Regional West Medical Center and returned to the custody of the Chadron Police Department and taken to jail on charges of Attempted Assault on a Police Officer and Disturbing the Peace.

A search warrant raid on Dirks' home later in the day found a small amount of suspected marijuana and a suspected marijuana pipe.

Lt Hickstein says that Chadron's investigator with the WING drug task force says DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is typically found as a powder and ingested by sprinkling it on marijuana and then smoking it.

He says that depending on the method of administration, the effects of DMT can range from "short-lived milder psychedelic states to powerful immersive experiences described as a total loss of connection to external reality."

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