Sheriff: 'This was truly a fight for life or death' | Crime
Newberry County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Newberry man Wednesday morning after a violent struggle with a deputy.
Deputies say 24-year-old Trevor Denois Sligh has been arrested and charged with assault and battery on a police officer while resisting arrest, possession of crack cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The report said just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night a deputy observed a vehicle driving without lights on Cottage Avenue in the Helena section of Newberry County. When the deputy stopped the vehicle, he could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle so he called for backup.
According to the report, when the deputy asked Sligh, who was the driver, to step out of his vehicle, Sligh attempted to reach into his pocket.
The officer told Sligh to stop, but within a few seconds was reaching for his pocket again and became very combative with the deputy.
Deputies say the officer attempted to physically stop Sligh from going into his pocket and a violent struggle broke out.
According to sheriff’s deputies, during the struggle the deputy could feel that the item in the pocket was a pistol.
The report said the struggle continued for a short time, then the officer attempted to use pepper spray and a taser, which both were ineffective on Sligh. The struggle continued until Sligh was able to land a blow with his elbow into the deputy’s face and nose. It was then the suspect broke free and fled on foot.
As other law enforcement officers arrived on scene, they established a search area and used bloodhounds to attempt to locate the Sligh without success. Sligh was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
On a search of the Sligh’s vehicle, the officers located small quantities of both marijuana and crack cocaine, the report stated.
According to sheriff’s deputies, criminal history records show that Sligh had previously been on probation for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in 2008.
“This was truly a fight for life or death,” said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster. “We are both fortunate and blessed that the deputy survived this incident because I am convinced that had the suspect been able to retrieve the weapon from his pocket, he would have shot the deputy.”
The deputy was treated and released from a local hospital. He was identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Matthew Womack. He has been with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office since May of 2011.
“We have come to a point in society where there is no respect for the law, law enforcement, or the court system. Because human life seemingly has little or no value to others; because we consistently see those who violate the law receive little or no jail time; and because we have allowed many to blame law enforcement not the criminals for the problems; we are consistently seeing outrageous and violent acts against others,” said Foster.
“Until we deal with the root issues and hold others accountable for their actions, we will continue to watch the local news and say to ourselves what is wrong with the world,” commented Foster.