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Man accused of dragging officer pleads not guilty

RAPID CITY (AP) — A man accused of dragging a Box Elder police officer with a car has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault charges.

John C. Root also has denied being a habitual offender because of prior drug convictions. If he's convicted of assault and found to be a habitual offender it could double his sentence. He faces six counts of an aggravated assault charge that carries a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison.

Authorities allege that Root tried to flee from officers who tried to serve him a parole violation warrant on New Year's Day, and that a Box Elder officer became caught in a car door and was dragged for several feet. Officer Nick Rosser was not seriously injured.

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