Local News

2 Wake Co. Deputies Hospitalized After Traffic Stop Goes Awry

Posted September 27, 1997

— On the same day two Cumberland County law enforcement officers were laid to rest, two other North Carolina officers were hospitalized and treated after a confrontation. What began as a routine traffic stop between Cary and Apex appeared to have turned into a violent encounter, though no gunshots were fired.

The incident began when Deputy Jimmy Byrd stopped a pickup truck on Goolsby Court, just north of Holly Springs. That was around 9:45 p.m. The truck had two men and a woman inside. Deputy O.C. Downing arrived as backup just as one of the men ran into a nearby wooded area. The person who was pulled over fled the scene and ran down the street. The two officers chased the suspect and, reportedly, all three fell down. The man was taken from the scene in a patrol car.

The sheriff's department has not released any information about the nature of the struggle. WRAL-TV5'sMark Robertswas able to determine that Byrd received a head injury that was described as blunt trauma. Downing sustained a knee injury. Both were taken to Wake Medical Center.

The suspect was placed under arrest. Captain D.B. Perry of the Wake County Sheriff's Department says they have only the one suspect.

Neither of the officers' injuries were considered life-threatening.

Roberts said he asked some of the deputies if all the recent violence against law enforcement officers in NC caused them more concern. They said they treated this incident as they would have any other stop, but made sure their fellow deputies were safe.

Photographer:Terry Cantrell

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