Franklin County rallies around injured deputy
Posted April 24, 2010 5:45 p.m. EDT
Updated April 25, 2010 9:54 a.m. EDT
Louisburg, N.C. — A Franklin County community gathered Saturday for a day of fun and games with a purpose. Law enforcement officers exchanged their badges for bats and balls to benefit one of their own.
Money raised from admissions, concessions and team entry fees at the eight-team softball tournament will help defray the medical expenses of Deputy James Williamson, who was injured on the job in February.
Williamson, 61, was just a few months from retirement when he was called to the Citgo gas station, at 611 N. Bickett Blvd., near U.S. Highway 401, in Louisburg. He was there to back up two other officers who were breaking up a fight.
Williamson ended up in critical condition with a severe head injury. Three people were arrested in connection with the altercation, but Louisburg Police Capt. Jason Abbott said it was not clear who attacked Williamson.
Saturday’s trip to the ballpark at the Louisburg Moose Lodge was Williamson’s first foray out of the hospital since his injury.
"It felt good to get out of there,” he said with a smile. “It felt good to be gone, and the further away, the better I felt."
Williamson has undergone two brain surgeries and expects to be in the hospital for at least another month.
"He needs to worry about getting better and not any type of finances," said Sgt. Bennett Manson with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Organizers were hoping to raise $10,000 for Williamson and his family.
"I think it's great. I like it when a community comes together and helps somebody who really needs it," Angie Finch said from the sidelines Saturday.