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Man charged with assault for trying to flee officer

A physical altercation between a 25-year-old man from New Market and a law enforcer has the man facing assault charges. He is accused of engaging in an

altercation with a sergeant with the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, who also serves as the game warden for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

During the evening hours one night, the officer received a call from a hunting party saying that one of the individuals in the group had been missing for hours. The officer later came across the individual near Moreland Gap Road and Dogwood Trail. The man was carrying a firearm, and the officer consulted records to see if the gun was registered or if the man possibly stole it.

In doing so, the officer discovered that there was a warrant out for the man's arrest in Rockingham County, Virginia. The officer confronted the man and asked him to place his hands on his head. Instead of complying with the officer's instructions, the man attempted to flee. The officer grabbed the man's shirt, but the man turned quickly. This action broke the officer's finger. The officer said his finger was numb and bent back.

That did not stop the struggle. The two individuals wrestled for approximately two minutes before the officer threatened to shoot the man with a Taser.

After being arrested, the man's attorney argued that his actions would be more appropriately classified as resisting arrest, not assault and battery, for which he was charged. The district court judge did not see it that way, though.

Now, the man faces assault and battery charges and he must decide whether or not to plead guilty in criminal court. If the man and his legal team believe that there is a shadow of doubt in the case, they could choose to fight it out in a jury trial. If they do not like their chances, they can always enter a guilty plea and hope for a lesser sentence.

Source: NVDaily, "New Market man accused of breaking game warden's finger," Joe Beck, March 25, 2013

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