Local News

Trooper charged with choking Rocky Mount cop

Posted September 9, 2009

— A state Highway Patrol trooper has been charged with assaulting a Rocky Mount police officer during a confrontation a week ago, authorities said Wednesday.

Trooper Byron Lee Varnell, 34, was charged with assault by strangulation and assault on a government official.

Varnell was placed on paid leave Tuesday. He had been on administrative duty since the Sept. 2 incident.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident..

Both the Highway Patrol and Rocky Mount police have declined to identify what led to the confrontation.

Varnell has been a member of the patrol since 2001 and, in 2006, won the department’s Samaritan Award when he pulled a lady from the path of an approaching vehicle, possibly saving her life.


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  • itsmyownopinion Sep 9, 2009

    Cowman, are you kidding me? Since when does this group wait for all the evidence? ;)

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 9, 2009

    No wonder the public doesn't trust law enforcement officers. They even attack each other.

    Most people are scared silly when they are pulled over that an overzealous LEO is going to use the nightstick on them.

    I graduated high school in 1980 and it's interesting to look at which of my classmates are working in law enforcement.

    Those that I graduated with that are in law enforcement are primarily the rednecks, bullies, and trouble makers from my senior class in high school.

    Gives you a real good feeling knowing who's in law enforcement when you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror.

  • cowman Sep 9, 2009

    This Patrolman didn't just for no good reason asault this Rocky
    Mount Policeman. Let's wait and hear all the evidence before making judgement.

  • familyfour Sep 9, 2009

    Well...sounds like if neither of them are talking, maybe it was a personal issue.

    Lots to know that we don't. I wonder if they are being punished for personal actions through their jobs though, or using their jobs to pursue personal retaliation?

    Can't help but wonder. They put it out there and drop it like it's hot.

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Sep 9, 2009

    1 for the money...2 for the show.....

    I'll take 2.....

  • Journey985 Sep 9, 2009

    You're right Common Sense Man, It was wrong of me to think that the father of a SHP officer would act like HE had any common sense seeing as how his son has none. guess the BAD APPLE didn't fall far from that tree now did it. I would love to be in the court room when he is answering for his crime. I still can't believe they are still paying him, If I were to get into a fight and strangle one of my co-workers, I would be escorted out of the building and arrested!! This officer is chrged in an assault and we (the taxpayers) are still paying him?? What's wrong with that picture?

  • 5-113 FA Retired Sep 9, 2009

    It appears all the cop advocates are on vacation today.

  • Adelinthe Sep 9, 2009

    Boggles the mind, especially when this same trooper put himself in harm's way to save a civilian just a while back.

    Can't figure it out, but praying for the truth and thanking God no one was seriously injured here.

    God bless.


  • exwife1956 Sep 9, 2009

    I wish i could have seen that fight, that would have been a sight to see. Why should they do anything with him when they let a HP get away with sending nasty pictures to staff at SECU? HP's think they are above the law. Guess what, they ain't........

  • sykesterryb Sep 9, 2009

    You go "gandalla." I could not have expressed it better myself.
    And "RAINDOG," I personally have never met a Virginia State Trooper I liked. They are all insulant. If you so much as look
    at one of them wrong when you're stopped, you are toast! I don't know why troopers and other LEOs are not taught that on the average traffic stop, most people are going to be a tad upset. But they just make matters worse with their superior attitudes and power trips.