A St. Cloud man reportedly attempted several carjackings, armed himself with a motel fire extinguisher and then doused a police officer in a Shopko parking lot Wednesday morning.
Zachary Taylor, 44, was attempting to enter several occupied vehicles near Hwy 23 and Lincoln Ave. SE when St. Cloud police were dispatched to the area. Taylor allegedly ran up to one sedan and pulled on the locked door handles while yelling at the occupants, a release said.
Taylor ran to the Gateway Motel when the sedan drove away where he knocked on several doors in search of a vehicle. Taylor ran inside and demanded the keys to one motel patron's vehicle when the patron answered the door. The man fought Taylor in the motel parking lot until Taylor broke away and grabbed a fire extinguisher mounted outside and took off to the Shopko parking lot.
St. Cloud police arrived as Taylor demanded a person's keys in the parking lot, threatening the person with the extinguisher, which Taylor later used on the officer attempting to arrest him. After Taylor sprayed the officer in the face, he was taken into custody.
The officer was treated and released at the St. Cloud Hospital for exposure to fire extinguisher chemical. Taylor was treated with minor injuries and is currently charged with felony assault, burglary and attempted robbery.
Any witnesses to this incident are encouraged to call the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-251-1200 or Crimestoppers at 320-255-1301.