Charged officer’s attorney tells more about BSL shooting

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Submitted: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 1:17am
Updated: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 3:20pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A day after a Southport police officer turned himself in on a voluntary manslaughter charge, his lawyer is speaking out.

Attorney James Payne says Det. Bryon Vassey handled the situation that ended in 18-year-old Keith Vidal’s death the best he could. Payne says Vassey acted honorably on Jan. 5 when he shot and killed the schizophrenic teen in Boiling Spring Lakes.

Payne says a body mic on one of the other officers reveals what he believes really happened that sunday afternoon.

He says at some point during the struggle Vassey saw Vidal make a stabbing motion with a pick toward BSL Ofc. John Thomas that was blocked.

“The next blow comes back, as we described it to Judge Hooks, there was nothing blocking that pick from Ofc. Thomas’s head,” Payne said.

Payne also said that Vassey at no point said, “I don’t have time for this. Taze him,” as Vidal’s father has claimed.

Payne says moments after the fatal shot was fired Vassey spoke to Thomas about what had just happened.

“Det. Vassey says to Det. Thomas, and it’s caught on video, as well, ‘I had no choice,’ and Ofc. Thomas said, ‘I know, I know,'” Payne said.

Southport Police Chief Jerry Dove says he is meeting with District Attorney Jon David in the next few days to discuss Vassey’s employment. Right now, though, he says Vassey is still on paid leave.

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61 Comments on "Charged officer’s attorney tells more about BSL shooting"

2015 years 8 months ago

you must understand if your sworn to protect and serve and like the statement states the young man was about ready to strike the one officer. I believe its the parents fault. maybe the young man was going through DT’s from all the heroin that was confiscated two days prier, that might be the reason why they couldn’t control him; did you ever think of that?

2015 years 8 months ago

It seems that Yankees don’t know how to keep their opinions to themselves. It also seems that many Yankees have no class and are the only ones condemning this officer with comments like “up north we did it this way”. You know a good southerner would say “go back where you came from if you don’t like it here”.

You can’t tell me any officer would intend to kill this young man in cold blood. Police officers are good people that deal with other people’s crap on a daily basis. I would bet that many of the calls are caused by the influx of trashy yankees that didn’t like it up north

2015 years 8 months ago

Why didn’t the family let the boy kill the mother? Why call the police? because if anything went wrong, they wouldn’t have anybody to sue. They couldn’t handle him, so they called in a scape goat.

2015 years 8 months ago

Why do cops think they can’t go hands on anymore?Whimps?If someone has a gun,I can understand.If three cops cannot disarm a small kid or 19 year old man that only has a small pick,whatever,than they need a desk job or better yet another profession.I remember the days when cops would do anything not to kill, now it seems procedural,if they feel endangered to just kill.The problem is the taser.If they tase someone and it does not take them down then that gives them the right to use the thing a gun.I say get rid of the tasers and if you are going to apply for a law enforcement job well just know that you may have to go “hands on” to take someone into custody.

Beach Bum
2015 years 8 months ago

I surely hope and pray to the Almighty, when this officer is exonerated of all and any charges, you people, including the yellow journalist at WWAY TV-3, have the balls to offer an apology to the detective.

State of North Carolina should be filing charges against the parents for child neglect and abuse for not properly caring for their retarded kid.