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Suspect accused of attacking officer

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department Deputy said he is stillunsure what provoked a Richland man to allegedly attack him duringa traffic stop Tuesday night.

Thanh Trung Nguyen, 19, of 104 Countryside Circle, Richland,remained in the Lincoln County Jail Thursday morning on a $25,000bond after being charged with assault on an officer, resistingarrest, disorderly conduct, possession of liquor and publicintoxication.

A second man, Loc Van Pham, 36, of 104 Countryside Circle,Richland, was released Wednesday on a small cash bond. He was onlycharged with reckless driving.

“He never participated in the assault,” Pitts said.

Pitts said the incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Tuesdaynight.

“I made a traffic stop on the car, and upon approaching thevehicle I could smell alcohol and what I believe was marijuana,” hesaid.

He asked the two men to step out of the vehicle and patted themdown, he said, before asking for permission to search the vehiclefor alcohol and drugs based on the smells.

“Everything went well until I went to search the vehicle,” hesaid. “Then, the passenger (Nguyen) jumped me. We fought forseveral minutes until backup arrived.”

Pitts was assisted in the arrest by an officer with theBrookhaven Police Department.

A search of the vehicle turned up some whiskey, Pitts said, butno drugs were found. A background check on the two men showed nocurrent charges, and Pitts said he could not explain Nguyen’sresponse to the search request.

“I still don’t know why he did what he did, but he has a longhistory of assault and vehicle burglaries,” Pitts said.

Sheriff Wiley Calcote commended Pitts and said the case was anexample of situations that officers can find themselves inunexpectedly and why they must always approach a situation withcaution.