Local News

Halifax bicyclist accused of shooting at police

Posted January 1, 2011 8:43 p.m. EST
Updated January 2, 2011 1:37 p.m. EST

— A Weldon man is accused of shooting at two police officers who stopped him for riding a bike without lights Friday evening.

Chief Mark Macon told the Daily Herald of Roanoke Rapids that Michael Bernard Ponton, 51, tried to run from officers but they quickly caught up with him.

As they were trying to handcuff Ponton, he slipped on some ice, and a gun fell from his pocket. Macon said the suspect grabbed the gun and fired a shot that missed. The officers got the gun from the man's hand.

Neither of the two Weldon police officers involved were injured. The sheriff's office was called in to investigate the incident.

Ponton was charged with attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed gun and felony possession of cocaine.

He was being held in the Halifax County Jail Saturday under a $500,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 12.

Ponton's criminal record dates to 1999 and includes convictions for maintaining a dwelling place for a contraband substance, theft and driving while impaired, according to state Department of Correction records.