Man accused of hitting Columbus County deputy, trying to grab gun during struggle

Alton Maurice Graham (Photo: Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County deputy who stopped to check on a vehicle parked near the woods ended up in a struggle with the driver, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 3:00 p.m. on Monday, the deputy was in the Green Acres community of Tabor City when he stopped to offer assistance.

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The sheriff’s office says the driver, Alton Maurice Graham, told the deputy he was changing a tire.

When the deputy checked Graham’s information and returned to the vehicle to hand back Graham’s license, Graham allegedly pulled out a crack pipe and attempted to light it in front of the deputy.

The deputy told Graham to get out of the vehicle. Graham did not comply, so the deputy got him out and tried to handcuff him.

The sheriff’s office says the two struggled, during which Graham hit the deputy numerous times in the face and head and tried to get the deputy‚Äôs firearm, while threatening to kill him.

The deputy was able to gain control of Graham and handcuff him. The deputy was treated at Columbus Regional Hospital for his injuries and released.

“I would like to commend this deputy for his actions. He was able to maintain composure and control while his life was in danger. Because of his quick thinking, calm composure, and the utilization of his defensive tactics training, he was able to go home to his family last night,” Sheriff Jody Greene wrote in a news release.

Graham is charged with the following:

  • possession of schedule II controlled substance
  • assault inflicting serious injury
  • damage to government property
  • assault with a deadly weapon on government official
  • resisting public officer
  • failure to appear misdemeanor larceny

Graham is being held under a $51,000 bond.