From 2018: Arraignment set for Silvis suspect shot after trying to run over a police officer

Local News

An arraignment has been set for a Silvis man who, in 2018, was shot after he tried to run over a police officer.

Nicholas Travis Warner, 51, faces three felony charges of assault on a police officer while displaying a weapon, and second-offense operating while intoxicated. He also faces misdemeanor charges of eluding, interference with official acts and possession of a controlled substance.

His arraignment is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 15 in Scott County Court. An arraignment is a court proceeding during which a defendant is formally advised of the charges against him and is asked to enter a plea to the charges.

Warner was held briefly Friday morning in Scott County Jail before he bonded out.

According to City of Davenport and Scott County records:

On May 16, 2018, Davenport Police Sgt. Eric Gruenhagen was flagged down at 6th and Division streets for a report of a silver 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora that had veered off the road, hit multiple parked cars and apparently was trying to flee.

The person who flagged down Gruenhagen pulled in front of the Oldsmobile in an attempt to stop it.

When Gruenhagen walked toward the car to investigate, it accelerated and fled.

The Oldsmobile drove across the intersection of 6th and Division streets, almost hitting other vehicles, then off the roadway, striking a residence.

Gruenhagen moved toward the center of the intersection with his duty pistol out, giving commands for the Oldsmobile driver to stop.

The car backed up into the intersection, pointing the front of the car at Gruenhagen, and with “audible acceleration of the motor,” drove at Gruenhagen.

Another person nearby in a vehicle saw the Oldsmobile’s movements toward Gruenhagen and ran their car into the Oldsmobile into an attempt to assist and stop it.

Gruenhagen believed the Oldsmobile was going to hit him. Several witnesses also said the Oldsmobile was trying to run over Gruenhagen.

The Oldsmobile fled north on Division Street. Police officers Michael Martin and Robert Bytnar, responding to the scene, in a two-officer squad car, saw the Oldsmobile traveling north on Division Street and turned around to stop the vehicle. Based on the previous movements of the Oldsmobile, Gruenhagen advised the other two officers to “take the vehicle out and pit the vehicle if possible.”

The Oldsmobile turned west onto 9th Street from Division Street, almost striking other vehicles in traffic.

The Oldsmobile had slowed during the turn and the other officers in the squad car caught up with it.

Bytnar got out of the passenger side of the squad car and began giving the Oldsmobile driver commands to stop.

The Oldsmobile, while revving its engine, kept going forward and backward, and eventually rammed the squad car.

Bytnar fired twice, striking Warner. Martin used the squad car to push the Oldsmobile to the side of the road against the curb and small hill.

Martin left the squad car and positioned himself toward the front of the Oldsmobile to give commands and assist in taking Warner into custody.

Warner still revved the engine, causing Martin to believe he was in danger of being struck.

Before being removed from the vehicle, Warner – despite being shot in each arm – picked up a bottle of vodka and started drinking it. Eventually Martin was able to convince Warner to come out of the car.

Warner was given medical treatment and transported to a Genesis hospital.

Warner later was flown to University Hospitals, Iowa City, for further treatment.

Warner said in front of other officers he had been using alcohol and smoking crack cocaine.

He consented to providing a urine sample, which tested positive for cocaine and revealed an alcohol level of .072 several hours after he was medically transported from the scene.

After a search warrant was issued on the Oldsmobile, police found a baggie of crack cocaine and the bottle of vodka.

According to city records: “The evidence shows Officer Bytner’s use of force was reasonable under the circumstances. It was necessary to resist deadly force and to avoid injury or death to himself, other officers, and the community.”

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