Local News

Man charged with assault on former Henderson police officer

Posted October 15, 2008 11:17 a.m. EDT

— A Henderson man has been charged with attempted first-degree murder in connection with an assault on a former police officer who pleaded guilty earlier this year in a racially charged case.

Freddie Fernando Hicks, 31, of 320 Carolina Woods Lane, is accused of inflicting severe injuries on Anthony Dale "Tony" Finch in a parking lot outside Twister's restaurant on Oct. 8.

Finch, 47, underwent emergency surgery at Maria Parham Medical Center and was later transferred to Duke University Hospital. It was unclear whether he was still there Wednesday; hospital officials would not release any information about him.

Henderson police said the investigation in ongoing and would not say what the motive for the alleged crime was.

Hicks, who was convicted of a simple assault three years ago, was in the Vance County jail Tuesday under a $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing on the charge is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Finch, who retired from the Henderson Police department six years ago, was sentenced to supervised probation in March after pleading guilty to communicating threats in a June 2006 case in which authorities said he chased after a black couple in a truck, shouted racial slurs and pointed a gun at them.

Finch denied using racial slurs, saying he chased the couple only because they had threatened to shoot his stepson. A judge dismissed charges of ethnic intimidation, among others, as part of that plea.

Finch is also accused of threatening to kill Vance County District Attorney Sam Currin, who was the prosecutor in that case. He denies the allegation.