NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)– A Ware man has been sentenced to four years on probation after he attempted to disarm two Ware police officers during his arrest in May 2021.

Keith McDonnell, 40, was arrested for violating a restraining order. According to the Northwest District Attorney’s office, on May 16, 2021, two Ware police officers responded to a residence where McDonnell had been prohibited by a restraining order. When officers attempted an arrest, he resisted by engaging in a three- to four-minute violent struggle with officers and attempting to remove two of the officers’ department-issued firearms while children looked on.

McDonnell pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery while attempting to disarm a police officer, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of violating a restraining order in a change of plea hearing in a Hampshire Superior Court on Aug. 24.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Covington recommended a state prison sentence of 1 ½ to 4 years, while defense attorney Alan Rubin from the Committee for Public Counsel Services, recommended two years of probation along with conditions.

Judge Richard Carey commended the Ware Police Officers for their professionalism and restraint. He sentenced McDonnell to probation for four years with conditions that included staying drug and alcohol free and writing a letter of apology to the officers.