Officers assaulted during traffic stop

Published 11:29 pm Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One of two suspects stopped for a traffic violation tried to escape capture by assaulting two Picayune Police Officers.

The traffic stop took place on South Blanks Avenue early on New Year’s day just after 1 a.m. for no turn signal and no tag light, said Public Information Officer Theresa Milar.

As the officer approached the vehicle, he could smell burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver, Nigel Myers, 31, of 705 N. Buren Ave. and passenger, Martin L. Berry, 36, of 402 S. Blanks Ave. were asked to get out of the vehicle, Milar said. A pat down of Myers and Berry was conducted by the two officers at the scene for their safety. The officer patting down Berry had to ask him several times to keep his hands on the car.

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As the officer was doing the pat down, Berry struck the officer in the left shoulder with his elbow, fleeing on foot around the front of the patrol car. The other officer at the scene attempted to stop Berry by getting in his way. As Berry approached the second officer ,he lifted his arm and struck the second officer in the face with his forearm, Milar said.

Berry and the second officer fell to the ground and both officers tried to put Berry into custody but Berry continued fighting in an attempt to flee. Several times the officers told Berry to put his hands behind his back, but Berry did not comply, continuing to fight, Milar said.

One of the officers pulled out his taser and told Berry again to comply with their orders, when Berry continued to fight, the taser was fired and Berry fell to the ground. When Berry still continued to resist arrest, the taser was activated several more times before he was taken into custody, Milar said.

In the fight one of the officer’s pants was ripped as he fell to the pavement, Milar said.

Berry was charged with simple assault on a police officer, resisting arrest by fighting, destroying city property (the pants) and disorderly conduct.

Myers was charged with no tag light and no turn signal.