ST. LOUIS – A 38-year-old East St. Louis man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday for fighting with park rangers at the Gateway Arch National Park.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Antione Hawkins admitted to the confrontation in the Old Cathedral parking lot on Feb. 28, 2021.
According to the plea, park rangers conducted a traffic stop in the parking lot and found Hawkins in the driver’s seat. Rangers noticed an open beer bottle in the car and an open beer carton in the backseat.
Hawkins provided the rangers with his name, but would not give them his ID. He also refused to keep his hands on the steering wheel and eventually became confrontational. He then admitted to the park rangers that he’d been drinking.
Rangers eventually got Hawkins out of the vehicle and attempted to take him into custody. Hawkins struggled and resisted while being handcuffed, stomping on a ranger’s foot and kicking him in the leg. As rangers put Hawkins in a patrol vehicle, he kicked that same ranger in the face.
While at the jail, Hawkins started another struggle and grabbed another ranger by their throat.
Hawkins pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting an officer.
Hawkins will be sentenced on March 23, 2023. He faces up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
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