Ste. Genevieve officer recovering from Molotov cocktail burns in St. Louis hospital


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STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. – A police officer is recovering from substantial burns in St. Louis after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at him early Friday morning in Ste. Genevieve.

Ste. Genevieve Police Chief Eric Bennett said Officer Pete Unverferth responded to a disturbance call for noise complaints at 1:00 a.m. Friday in the 200 block of St. Jude Drive.

When Unverferth arrived, the suspect, identified as Tyson Heise, had a lit Molotov cocktail. While Unverferth had a Taser in his own hand, he commanded Heise to drop the Molotov cocktail. A member of Heise’s own family attempted to restrain him but Heise threw the Molotov cocktail at Unverferth. Unverferth deployed his Taser at the suspect.

Unverferth sustained substantial burns to his arms, torso, and legs. He was transported to a St. Louis area hospital for treatment. He faces a “substantial” recovery, according to Bennett.

According to Ste. Genevieve Police, the suspect’s family said they felt threatened by Heise, adding that Heise had been “homicidal and suicidal.” The family also blamed their neighbor for calling in the noise complaint as a reason for Heise’s behavior.

Heise was arrested at the scene. The Ste. Genevieve Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Heise with first-degree assault (special victim) and armed criminal action.

Unverferth has been with the department for nine years. He has a total of 13 years of law enforcement experience.

There is not any significant call history with the suspect.

The investigation is ongoing.

Tyson Heise

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