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Posted May 18, 2011 | comments 3 Comments

*Man charged with attempted murder of Warren deputy

By M.K. Luther -- mkluther@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- A Fauquier County man faces a charge of attempted capital murder of a police officer in a May 4 incident involving a Warren County Sheriff's Office deputy.

Tony L. Baird, 45, of Warrenton was released from the University of Virginia Medical Center Monday and taken into custody by U.Va. Police, according to a news release from Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron.

Warren County sheriff's deputies responded to a call to attempt to locate a man believed to be suicidal at about 2 a.m. on May 4. Deputies located Baird and his blue GMC pickup at the Chapman Road and U.S. 340 south intersection.

Baird "rammed" his pickup into one deputy's cruiser, according to authorities, and then continued to head toward another cruiser and deputy. That deputy fired on the pickup "in an attempt to stop Baird from running him over," the release states.

Baird was taken to the hospital and treated for a gunshot wound to the arm.

Virginia State Police have charged Baird with attempted capital murder of a police officer, assault and battery of a police officer, eluding police and one count of destruction of property, the release says. Baird remains in the Albemarle County Jail.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Culpeper Field Office conducted the investigation. The results have been turned over to the Warren County commonwealth's attorney for final determination.

The sheriff's office has refused to identify the deputy. However, McEathron said on Wednesday the deputy is on active duty and has not been placed on administrative leave.

"As far as my office is concerned, we are very confident this was justified," McEathron said.

For further developments visit nvdaily.com or read the print edition of The Northern Virginia Daily.

3 Comments |

    Can we please see the picture of the "rammed" vehicle...it was my understanding that the car was just bumped. They had a description of the vehicle, license plate number, was it really necessary to discharge a firearm? Was it really necessary to injury the accused? Suicidal? Doubtful! Just a necessary word that the Sheriff had to use to to create an elaborate story to justify the unnecessary firing of a weapon by one of his deputies...However, if this person is placed in the Warren County jail, I am worried for his safety. McEathron has had way to many deaths, escapes, etc....Looking forward to election time!


    I wonder why Sheriff McEathron won't spend the dollars to equip every patrol vehicle with a dash mounted video camera instead of squandering it on shopping center patrol tricycles? I believe I saw the 'rammed' police cruiser. A little wax and a little elbow grease and that damage will buff right out.

    The use of appropriate buzzwords - - suicidal, rammed, feared for life, etc. -- is standard operating procedure to prejudice outside investigations and grossly inflate mole hills into mountains whenever excessive force is used without the presence of a bona fide threat requiring deadly force. Sheriff authorities are merely filling in the blanks enabling justification of an out-of-control deputy shooting a belligerent motorist, gun-slinging wild west style... the motorist deserved to be shot because he didn't follow police orders.

    A dash-cam could be used to support the facts. Deputies aware their actions are being recorded seem to do a better job in the community. Perhaps the Board of Supervisors should divert some of the funds being used for the new public safety building and see to it dash-cams are installed in all patrol vehicles.

    Rogue cops not following approved procedure cause deaths, inside jails and outside on patrol. Unless a candidate steps forward, McEathron is running unopposed for re-election, and the wild west operations will continue.

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    So, the officer makes a decision(the correct one), the department investigates and finds the actions to be justified. The court system, agrees but you need a picture of the vehicle.

    If I were driving across a parking lot towards you, made no contact but was very clearly aiming at you, would you say I was attempting to hit you? I would.

    The officer made a decision to save his life and possibly the life of anyone else who may have been on that road. A description of the vehicle does not keep innocent people from being harmed.

    Not everyone can be stopped by asking nicely, which I am more than confident he was asked to stop and exit his vehicle.

    Let me just say, I am glad he was the officer responding, as opposed to someone more like yourself.

    Thanks again to the officer(s) who responded and acted accordingly.


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