Deputy assaulted after stopping to check on driver

Deputy assaulted after stopping to check on driver
Alton Graham

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy was assaulted after stopping to check on a driver Sunday afternoon.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, the deputy was on patrol in the Green Acres community outside of Tabor City when he spotted a vehicle parked near the wood line around 3 p.m.

The deputy went to check on the driver, identified as 35-year-old Alton Maurice Graham of Tabor City, who told the deputy that he was changing a tire. After checking Graham’s information, the deputy returned to the vehicle to give Graham his driver’s license back. As the deputy walked up to the car, Graham allegedly pulled out a crack pipe and started to light it.

The deputy ordered Graham out of the vehicle. He did not comply, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The deputy assisted Graham from the vehicle and attempted to handcuff him. At that time, Graham pulled away from the deputy and a struggle ensued,” the news release stated.

Graham allegedly struck the deputy several times in the face and head, and tried to get the deputy’s firearm during the struggle. He allegedly told the deputy he was going to kill him.

The deputy was eventually able to restrain Graham and handcuff him.

“I would like to commend this deputy for his actions,” said Sheriff Jody Greene. “He was able to maintain composure and control while his life was in danger. Because of his quick thinking, calm composure, and the utilization of his defensive tactics training, he was able to go home to his family last night.”

The deputy was treated for his injuries at Columbus Regional Hospital and later released.

Graham was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance, assault inflicting serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, damage to government property, resisting a public officer, and failure to appear on a misdemeanor larceny charge.

He was booked into the Columbus County jail under a $51,000 bond.

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