State v. Friend, 237 N.C. App. 490 (Dec. 2, 2014)

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court erred by denying his motion to dismiss the charge of assault causing physical injury on a law enforcement officer, which occurred at the local jail. After arresting the defendant, Captain Sumner transported the defendant to jail, escorted him to a holding cell, removed his handcuffs, and closed the door to the holding cell, believing it would lock behind him automatically. However, the door remained unlocked. When Sumner noticed the defendant standing in the holding cell doorway with the door open, he told the defendant to get back inside the cell. Instead, the defendant tackled Sumner. The defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence that the officer was discharging a duty of his office at the time. The court rejected this argument, concluding that “[b]y remaining at the jail to ensure the safety of other officers,” Sumner was discharging the duties of his office. In the course of its holding, the court noted that “unlike the offense of resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer, . . . criminal liability for the offense of assaulting an officer is not limited to situations where an officer is engaging in lawful conduct in the performance or attempted performance of his or her official duties.”

Error | UNC School of Government

Error

The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.