Clyde Eugene Burrell charged with violently beating police officer

Burrell is accused of beating a Front Royal officer and injuring another. Photo: Front Royal Police

A 33-year-old Front Royal man has been charged with attempted murder and assault after he allegedly violently attacked two of the town's police officers on Saturday.

Front Royal Police officials say that Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr., a Front Royal resident, went after two officers after he was caught allegedly exposing himself to motorists on North Shenandoah Avenue just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police say that after receiving the call, two officers, Sgt. Bryan Courtney and Detective Jason Lethcoe, responded and began searching Burrell. When they spotted the suspect and Courtney got out of his car, Burrell allegedly attacked him.

"(He) walked back to the rear panel and the suspect was on him," Front Royal Police Capt. Mark Werner said. "At that point, he was fighting for his life."

During the incident, police say Burrell slammed Courtney's head into the ground and raked his eyes repeatedly. According to eyewitnesses, the suspect grabbed the officer in an MMA-style hold and slammed him to the ground. He then got a hold of the sergeants baton and allegedly beat Courtney in the face, arms and head.

After Courtney was able to get up, officials say that Lethcoe was able to tackle Burrell, who then tried to fight back during the struggle. Lethcoe was able to restrain and place Burrell into handcuffs, though.

"When he stood back up, the baton was out of his hand and he looked and growled at me," Lethcoe said. "He had blood down his forearms."

Sgt. Courtney was taken to an area hospital, where he is being treated for his injuries. Lethcoe was treated and released for injuries of his own.

Burrell, meanwhile, has been charged with one count of attempted capital murder, one count of causing malicious bodily injury and two counts of assault and battery. He is being held without bond.

Officers say they've had run-ins with Burrel, who is known to have trained in the sport of mixed martial arts, before. However, before Saturday, he had never turned violent.

"It could have gone a lot worse," Lethcoe said. "I'm happy I was there to help."