Deputy tosses gun to safety during struggle

Brandon Thompson (left) and William Morrow
Staff Writer

A Clay County sheriff's deputy has to throw his gun into the bushes to keep it away from a drug suspect during a struggle. But K9 officer Jordon Roberts ended up sitting on the suspect until backup arrived, Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said.

When it was all over, two men were charged with drug trafficking violations and $4,000 worth of drugs were off the streets.

According to Scott, 32-year-old Brandon Thompson, of Houston, and 34-year-old William Morrow, of Amory, were charged in the incident which happened at about 4:30 p.m. Monday on CCC Line Road in the Una community on the Clay-Chickasaw County line.

Roberts was on patrol when he stopped the truck they were in for a seat belt violation. Before Roberts could get "Bruno," his drug dog, out of his car, Thompson came walking toward him, trying to distract the deputy, Scott said. Realizing something was up, Roberts handcuffed Thompson and took him to the ground as Morrow and another suspect took off.

"They all three got out of the car so fast and started coming toward him, he didn't have time to do anything. He knew something was up," Scott said.

Roberts caught up with Morrow on foot and a fight ensued as the deputy tried to handcuff the suspect. Morrow managed to get the deputy's gun holster unsnapped, forcing Roberts to throw the gun away while the struggle continued.

"He basically ended up sitting on him until back up arrived," Scott said, noting the department's DUI officer arrived, followed quickly by other deputies from Clay and Chickasaw County.

"It all could have been a lot worse," Scott said, noting it was a good reminder for all his officers to be careful on any traffic stop or response in remote areas of the county.

While Thompson and Morrow were caught, the third suspect escaped.

Thompson and Morrow both are charged with possession of a controlled substance. Morrow also is charged with resisting arrest and assault on an officer. While Morrow lists an Amory address, investigators think he has been staying in the area where Chickasaw, Monroe and Clay counties meet.

Investigators recovered a large amount of drugs thrown underneath the vehicle during the struggle. Scott said deputies seized approximately 30.7 grams of cocaine along with a large number of pills, including Adderall, Xanax and hydrocodone, with a street value of up to $4,000.

The drugs have been sent to the state Crime Lab for analysis, also for fingerprint and DNA testing, Scott said.

Investigators say they have an "idea" who the third suspect is and think he may be from the Chickasaw County area.

"We're getting everything analyzed, getting fingerprints done, running down information," Scott said.

Morrow and Thompson are out of jail on bond.

Anyone with information should call the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at 662-494-2896 or the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.