Fight ends with officer assaulted

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 27, 2003

Officers from the Greenville Police Department were called to the Front Street Pub for a large fight in progress on Christmas night that resulted in a police officer being assaulted.

Records indicate that at approximately 11:09 p.m. the Greenville Police Department was dispatched to the Front Street Pub, located at 215 West Commerce St. for a fight. The first officers to arrive on the scene reported to others responding that it appeared there were more than 60 people in front of the bar on Commerce Street, and the street was completely blocked due to the people.

"When we arrived on the scene, there were many people pouring out of the pub into the street, and several inside the pub still fighting," said GPD Third Shift Commander Danny Bond. "One of our officers, Lane Strickland, was struck on the head with a beer bottle by a person inside the bar involved with the fight situation."

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The assailant then fled the scene. Strickland, 26, and a five-year veteran of the GPD, and other officers had entered the bar to break up the fight, still in progress.

Officers on the scene indicated that there were broken bottles and glasses all over the pub's wet floors.

"They've got quite a mess to clean up in there tonight," one officer said.

Greenville Fire Department paramedics were called to the scene and treated Strickland for a laceration and contusion to the back of his head, where he was apparently struck with a blunt object. His injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

People near the scene said that the person that struck Strickland was a "large black female."

"We quickly dispersed the crowd from the streets and the Pub, and began our investigation into the situation," Bond said. "I am very proud that Lane was not hurt more seriously, and we intend to get to the bottom of this incident, and bring those persons responsible to justice."

The Alabama Criminal Code does not treat assault on a police officer lightly n it is categorized automatically as a "Class C Felony" assault when an officer, paramedic or school system employee is assaulted while performing their lawful duties. Class C felonies are punishable upon conviction by a prison sentence of up to 10 years.