Cell phone signal used to arrest felony Criminal Restraint suspect - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Cell phone signal used to arrest felony Criminal Restraint suspect

Undated booking photo of Zachary Knigge provided by the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office in May 2019.

CASPER, Wyo. —  Details have been released in a felony Criminal Restraint investigation by the Casper Police Department. One suspect is facing charges in the incident.

Zachary Garrett Knigge, age 29, was arrested during the morning hours of June 21, 2020. At his initial Natrona County Circuit Court appearance, Knigge was charged with felony Restraint, Domestic Battery, and Child Endangerment.

Paperwork filed in Natrona County Circuit Court says that Casper Police were summoned to a scene where a reporting party said they had observed two adults involved in an altercation, which also involved a juvenile.

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Both of the adults and the juvenile had left the scene before police arrival.

Officers say, in a police affidavit, that they interviewed witnesses who claimed an adult male, later identified by police as Knigge, was heard yelling and was seen pulling another adult who was carrying a child by the arm. Knigge reportedly pulled the other adult and the juvenile out of a nearby residence and into a paved area outside. 

Witnesses say that Knigge grabbed the other adult by the hair and seemingly pulled them face-first onto the ground, while the other adult was still carrying the juvenile.

It was reported that Knigge told bystanders not to call the police, and when he was informed that the police had been summoned, he fled the area in a vehicle.

According to the affidavit, the adult victim and the juvenile victim also reportedly left the area in a separate vehicle. While officers were conducting investigation on scene, it was reported that the adult victim called dispatch for emergency services.

Police say both the adult and juvenile victims were injured, and were taken to an area hospital.

During an interview with police, the victim alleged that when Knigge grabbed them by the hair, it caused them to lose balance and fall to the pavement. It was then reported that Knigge dragged the accuser for a few seconds before it was said that he confronted bystanders and fled the scene.

Police write, in their affidavit, that while at the hospital a person believed to be Knigge contacted the victim’s phone over twenty times.

Officers with the Casper Police Department report using a cellphone signal to help in locating a vehicle believed to belong to Knigge in a Casper neighborhood. Police say that the vehicle was parked in a driveway of the residence, and that nobody answered the door when officers knocked.

A search warrant for the home was issued and was executed just before 7:00 am, June 21, 2020.

“Officers preaced the front door and Knigge went into custody willingly,” officers wrote in the affidavit.

During an interview with police, it was reported that Knigge claimed the other adult had been leaving the building willingly, and fell. He denied touching the accuser.

Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Michael Schafer said, during Knigge’s initial Circuit Court appearance on Monday, that Knigge was a client of Probation and Parole, for a previous accusation of Violating a Protection Order. 

During the hearing, Judge H. Steven Brown handed Knigge a bond amount of $10,000 cash or surety. Knigge was not listed as being in custody of the Natrona County Detention Center as of the morning of June 24, 2020.

Natrona County Sheriff’s Office records also show that deputies had at least two contacts with Knigge over the weekend, neither incident leading to an arrest. Once while responding to a reported assault on June 19, 2020. The other was a welfare check for Knigge the following day. 

During the June 19 incident, investigators say the reported assault was believed to be between “mutual combatants,” and neither one wished to pursue charges against the other. 

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.

Zachary Knigge appears before Natrona County Circuit Court Judge H Steven Brown on June 22, 2020 via video conference. (Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)