Three men facing charges after attack on reserve deputy
It happened on Thanksgiving night.
Bryan County Reserve Deputy Timothy Steely said 46-year-old Michael Stephens was arguing with another man, and refusing to listen to firefighters while they tried to battle a structure fire on Willow Lane in Mead.
Steely said he was trying to stop Stephens from going back into the burning trailer when six men crowded him.
“I’ve been into physical altercations out on the street before but it’s usually been a kind of one on one situation,” Steely said. “I’ve never been a part of having multiple guys try to attack you at once. That was a little overwhelming.”
Steely said he was choked and punched in the face, but managed to use his baton against his attackers.
“I didn’t feel that it was safe for me to pull my weapon at that time as close as they were I felt that they would probably try to take that from me and shoot me or shoot someone else with it,” Steely said.
“He’s out here wanting to volunteer to serve his community, no cost to this community,” Investigator Nathan Calloway said. “And we have these individuals that assaulted him so that’s one thing that’s pretty disturbing about it.”
Calloway said Steely tried to call for back up and least twice on his handheld radio but was unable to get through to dispatch.
“You know, if you’re strangling someone, you’re cutting off their air flow, you’re cutting off the oxygen to the brain,” Calloway said. “What results in that is death.”
40-year-old Jamie Kirk was arrested at the scene and has since bonded out of jail.
A felony warrant was issued for 46-year-old Johnny Kirk for assault and battery on a police officer. He turned himself in and was released on his own recognizance without being arrested.
Stephens was charged with obstructing an officer and resisting an officer.
Steely said another man refused to help him, choosing instead to film the fight on his phone.
“Refusing to assist in aiding the deputy, or providing any type of aid, even calling 911 for this deputy,” Calloway said. “Instead this person decided to just sit there and film the whole event. There is a state statute if a deputy or any law enforcement officer requires assistance or asks for help you have to help.”
The state fire marshal has been called in to determine how the fire started.
Steely said Jamie Kirk told him his other brother Tommy is the one who started it.
The home was a total loss.