A Hilton Head man was charged with two counts of third-degree assault and battery, marijuana possession, resisting arrest and driving under the influence Sunday after he allegedly punched a firefighter who was trying to help him and then tried to fight deputies.
The assault happened around 3:45 a.m. when Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded the scene of an overturned vehicle in the area of William Hilton Parkway and Singleton Beach Road, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. The vehicle was on its side in the tree line, the report said, and a man walked out of the woods just as emergency personnel arrived.
As the man spoke with deputies, they saw minor injuries. They also said he was breathing heavily and had dilated pupils, the report said. The man would not answer questions about what had happened. As he was searched for weapons, he allegedly “swatted” a deputy’s hand away.
A Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue firefighter was attempting to tend to the man’s neck when, without provocation, the man turned around and “assaulted (the firefighter) by punching him in the face,” the report said. He then swung at a deputy, but missed.
Deputies immediately pulled their Tasers out as the man “stood in a fighting stance with his fists still clenched facing off with (two deputies).” As the standoff continued, a deputy came up to the man from behind and “took him to the ground” where the man “fought to resist,” the report said. A deputy delivered “knee strikes” and the suspect was placed in handcuffs and leg shackles.
The man was taken to Hilton Head Hospital for treatment and later charged with marijuana possession when a small amount of pot was found on him. According to Beaufort County Detention Center records, the man was later jailed.