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Man accused of attacking Columbia officer in roadway

Police said the suspect immediately attacked the officer. The officer used a stun gun to bring the situation under control.
Credit: KUSA

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia Police say a man is in jail after attacking an officer who had pulled up next to him at a traffic light along Devine Street near Garners Ferry Road.

According to a police spokesperson, the incident occurred on Thanksgiving Day around 11 a.m. Police said the officer pulled up to a red light and another vehicle pulled up alongside him.

A man immediately got out of the other vehicle, police said. The department said the officer, who thought the man needed help - possibly with car trouble - got out to assist.

However, police said the suspect immediately threw a plastic bottle at the officer's patrol car and then attacked the officer, striking him in the face and body. The officer used a stun gun to bring the situation under control.

The department said that it has no plans to release the body camera video at this time. However, a video shared on social media, which was apparently taken by someone in traffic behind the officer and suspect, appears to corroborate the officer's explanation of the incident. 

The video starts while the officer appears to be getting out of his vehicle and shows an altercation beginning almost immediately after that.

After his arrest, the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Stanley J. Howell, was charged with assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest and public disorderly conduct.

Police later released a statement about the incident in which they said Howell later admitted to the attack stating on body camera:

“Man you know it’s Thanksgiving. (expletive) it man, I just feel like since I ain’t got no one to spend it with I might as well, (expletive) just take it out on y’all.”

The officer was later cleared to return to his work for the day with only minor injuries. Authorities said he was working off-duty as security for local businesses during Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

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