PITTSBURG, KS – On Tuesday evening, March 16, 2021, at approximately 6:30 PM, a law enforcement officer on routine patrol in the area of the 1800 block of N. Joplin St., in Pittsburg, observed what they believed to be an argument between a male and a female at a vehicle stopped in the westbound lane on 18th St., in which both subjects were yelling at each other. The officer turned around to investigate the incident further, but the female got into the vehicle and left the area, heading westbound toward Elm St. before the officer was able to make it back to 18th St. The officer then made contact with the male, who was walking westbound toward Elm St. to follow up with them about the apparent argument. The officer recognized the male subject as that of 28-year-old Kaleb F. Gudgen, of Pittsburg, and knew that Mr. Gudgen held an active warrant for his arrest through the Crawford County District Court for probation violations.
On Wednesday, March 10, 2021, Mr. Gudgen had been arrested by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office for charges of felon in possession of a firearm, transporting an open container of liquor, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Gudgen was released the following day after posting a $5000.00 bond.
In 2014, Mr. Gudgen was sentenced to the Kansas Department of Corrections for an aggravated robbery incident that occurred in Pittsburg in July, 2014.
Another law enforcement officer arrived on scene to assist, and the female driver of the aforementioned vehicle also returned. The officers attempted to take Mr. Gudgen into custody for his arrest warrant, at which time Mr. Gudgen placed his left hand into his pants pocket. Officers took ahold of Mr. Gudgen and ordered him to remove his hand from his pocket, however Mr. Gudgen refused to comply. Mr. Gudgen’s other arm was in a cast, which Mr. Gudgen identified as having been recently broken. The officers placed one end of a handcuff into the back of Mr. Gudgen’s pants belt loop and were finally able to remove Mr. Gudgen’s left hand from his pants pocket and secure it in the other handcuff. However, Mr. Gudgen was clutching something in his left hand and refused to release it. Mr. Gudgen was given numerous commands to open his hand, but he remained noncompliant with the officers’ commands and then he pulled away from the officers and went down onto the ground.
As the cast on Mr. Gudgen’s right arm did not allow for the application of typical handcuff restraints, Mr. Gudgen had a freer range of movement with his left hand, and Mr. Gudgen kept moving his left hand toward the front of his body and kept concealing his left hand, which still had something in his fist, from officers. Mr. Gudgen kept physically resisting the officers and their commands, and he kept pulling his left hand away from them as they tried to control it, leading to one of the officers having to deploy his department issued Taser in the capacity of a drive stun device (no probes were deployed) to gain compliance from Mr. Gudgen. However, the application of the device was ineffective and Mr. Gudgen continued to resist officers for several more minutes before the officers were finally able to gain control over Mr. Gudgen.
Officers discovered that Mr. Gudgen had been clutching plastic baggies in his left hand, which contained a white crystalline substance that is believed to be methamphetamine.
After Mr. Gudgen was placed under control, Crawford County EMS was called to the scene by officers, and at the request of the officers, Mr. Gudgen was transported to the hospital for evaluation. There were no injuries discovered to either Mr. Gudgen or the officers.
Mr. Gudgen was later released from the hospital, and he was transported to the jail at the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office for booking. Mr. Gudgen was arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, felony interference with law enforcement, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and the probation violation warrant. Mr. Gudgen is being held without bond.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing at this time. Anyone having information related to this incident, or other crimes, is urged to contact the Pittsburg Police Department at (620) 231-1700, or at our automated tip line, (620) 231-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.