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More details released on roadside brawl

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By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Monday, June 11, 2018

More details have emerged about a roadside brawl shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday in the 1600 block of Worthington Road.

Two of the individuals involved in the fighting are Greenville Police Department cadets Christian Thomas Russell, 38, and Brittany Johanna Barnett, 28. 

The fight happened outside the Greenville jurisdiction; therefore, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol are handling the investigation.

Arrest warrants indicate that when state troopers arrived, Russell and Barnett, along with Zachary Spencer Jones of Winterville, assaulted Bryant Lloyd Vandiford, 27, of Farmville. The warrant for Jones states he grabbed onto Vandiford and struck him several times and then proceeded to wrestle him to the ground, slamming him down.

At some point during the fighting, Vandiford struck Russell in the face, the reported stated. Russell struck Vandiford in the face and bit him on his left arm. 

Brittany Johanna Barnett walked away from a State Trooper after he identified himself and activated his blue lights. She was charged with being intoxicated and disruptive and for resisting a public officer. She also interfered with traffic and tried to fight Vandiford

The four individuals were arrested and charged with simple assault, resisting/delaying/obstructing an officer and for being intoxicated and disruptive. 

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman condemned the incident. 

“I am deeply disappointed to learn of the arrests of two of our trainees,” Holtzman said. “This behavior is not indicative of the standards for which we hold our employees. The conduct allegedly displayed last night is an embarrassment to the entire law enforcement profession and will not be tolerated at the Greenville Police Department. 

“We will cooperate fully with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Highway Patrol to ensure the case is thoroughly investigated,” Holtzman said.

Russell and Barnett have been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation. 

Contact Tyler Stocks at tstocks@reflector.com or 252-329-9566. Follow him on Twitter @TylerstocksGDR

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