BIG FLATS, N.Y. (WETM) — A man has been arrested after a police response to an assault in Big Flats led to a man running across I-86, threatening law enforcement with a knife, and causing several vehicles to crash, according to the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office.
Michael Petix, 47, was arrested on September 14, 2022, at approximately 9:06 a.m. after Deputies of the Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Econo Lodge in the Town of Big Flats to investigate an assault complaint.
After arriving, Deputies said that they found a woman with a cut on her head caused by Petix, who had fled the scene. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the woman had an order of protection against Petix.
Deputies then located Petix walking east in the westbound lane of I-86, started to pursue him, and then tackled him. The Sheriff’s Office said that Petix then pulled a knife during the altercation, causing Deputies to disengage.
Petix then crossed I-86 to the eastbound lane towards exit 52A, the Walmart exit. As he was crossing the highway, he caused several drivers to swerve, resulting in several accidents. Deputies said that he then attempted to enter several of the cars that had stopped in an attempt to flee, and jumped into the back of a pickup truck, but the driver refused to pull away.
Deputies said that Petix continued to flee, finally crossing the highway. Deputies and State Troopers deployed a K-9 unit in an attempt to take him into custody, at which time he displayed a knife and then began cutting himself.
Responding law enforcement used tasers and pepper spray on Petix, but it was ineffective in getting him to stop cutting himself, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A New York State Trooper then deployed his K-9 partner who was able to get Petix to drop the knife and allowed for officers to arrest him.
Petix was taken to an area hospital where he was listed in serious condition. According to the Sheriff’s Office, no law enforcement personnel were injured in the incident.
The Sheriff’s Office asks any drivers of a vehicle Petix tried to enter to contact the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 607 737-2933.
The Sheriff’s Office said that several criminal charges are pending against Petix upon his release from the hospital. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the arrest by New York State Police, Village of Horseheads Police Department, Town & Country Fire Department, and Erway Ambulance.