09/06/07 — Goldsboro officer, Wayne employee face Lenoir charges

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Goldsboro officer, Wayne employee face Lenoir charges

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on September 6, 2007 1:45 PM

A Goldsboro police officer and a Wayne County employee face charges after Lenoir County residents reported a possibly alcohol-fueled melee in LaGrange, police say.

Off-duty police officer Rusty Ray Herring, 36, of Hunter Street, is charged with breaking entering and simple assault, Lenoir County Sheriff's Office reports show.

County worker Jason Milton Gray, 24, of La Grange, is charged with breaking and entering, assault with a deadly weapon and simple assault, the reports show.

Goldsboro Police Chief Tim Bell said he did not yet know if Herring would face disciplinary action, but said he should know the answer by the end of the day.

Information about Gray was directed to county human resources staff, who did not return a call before deadline.

Bell said the charges stem from a domestic incident that escalated into a fight.

Lenoir County Sheriff Deputy Johnathon Whitley reported he was called after 8 p.m. Wednesday to the home of Justin Eubanks, on Lyndsey Lane in LaGrange.

A detective told Whitley that Herring had left the scene.

Eubanks reported that Herring, the Goldsboro officer, had repeatedly made unwanted phone calls to his mother, police said.

Eubanks said he then contacted Herring and asked him to stop calling his mother, police said. Herring then repeatedly called Eubanks telling him he would "whup his tail," police said.

After the series of calls, Herring and Gray showed up at the house, police said.

Eubanks told police that he asked the pair to leave multiple times, police said, but the two forced their way into the home.

Also in the home was neighbor Michael Lee Beeson, 16, a student at North Lenoir High School, the report shows. Eubanks called Beeson to tell him he was being attacked, police said.

Beeson said he saw Herring pushing Eubanks, police said, and called his mother to have her alert authorities.

When Beeson tried to intervene, Herring pushed him, police said.

Next, Beeson reported Eubanks hit Herring and ran to get help from a family member, the report shows.

Beeson said Herring then charged him, and Beeson responded by hitting him in the jaw, police said. Herring went to the floor and Beeson began kicking him, police said.

Wanda Beeson, Beeson's mother, arrived with her husband, Lloyd Tyndall, and found Gray on the ground fighting with the 16-year-old, police said.

Mrs. Beeson and her husband reported they broke up the fight between their son and the county employee.

The 16-year-old's mother reported that she could smell alcohol on both the off-duty officer and the county employee, police said.

Chief Bell said that there was some indication that alcohol played a role in the incident.

Mrs. Beeson reported that Herring again began attacking her son, causing the 16-year-old's father to head-butt the off-duty officer, police said.

Both Herring and Gray were placed under $500 secured bond. Both made bond and were released, police said.