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Front Royal man faces charges in altercation with police

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Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr.

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Sgt. Bryan Courtney

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Detective Jason Lethcoe


A Front Royal man faces attempted capital murder and other charges in an attack on two town police officers on Saturday evening.

Police arrested Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr., 33, of 607 W. 11th St., Front Royal, on one count of attempted capital murder and one count of maliciously causing bodily injury in an attack on police Sgt. Bryan Courtney, and two counts of assault and battery in an attack on Courtney and Detective Jason Lethcoe, according to a news release issued by Chief Richard H. Furr.

The attack came at a time when police were searching for a male who had been exposing himself to passing motorists on North Shenandoah Avenue at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Courtney radioed that he may have the suspect on North Shenandoah Avenue. When he left his patrol car, the release states, Burrell attacked him.

During the attack, the release states, "Burrell slammed Sergeant Courtney's head into the pavement multiple times and raked his fingers through Sergeant Courtney's eyes. As Sergeant Courtney continued to fight for his life, Burrell gained control of Sergeant Courtney's expandable baton and commenced to beat Sergeant Courtney, striking him in his face, arms and the back of his head."

The release continues that Courtney got on his back, and Burrell was on his chest. Both men were struggling for control of the baton when Burrell "ripped the baton from Sergeant Courtney's hands" and as "Burrell drew back the baton to strike Sergeant Courtney, Detective Jason Lethcoe arrived on the scene and was able to tackle Burrell."

Lethcoe was able to get Burrell away from Courtney and during the struggle, "a citizen came to the aid of Detective Lethcoe and helped in gaining control of Burrell," the release states.

Burrell was handcuffed and two other citizens, the release states, "came to the aid of Sergeant Courtney rendering first aid."

Police Corp. David Fogle arrived and transported Courtney to Warren Memorial Hospital, according to the release. Lethcoe was treated and released.

Police Capt. Mark Werner said Lethcoe suffered a bruise to his hand during the fight. Werner said at least two of the citizens who aided police during the fight had been in passing vehicles before they stopped and intervened.

Werner said Sunday night that Courtney was "still in the hospital waiting to be cleared by doctors. They still have things they need to check on."

Werner said Courtney was "stable, conscious and alert" and could be released by Monday or Tuesday, "depending on whether they run some more tests."

Courtney has been on the force more than five years and is in his 30s, Werner said.

Burrell, the release states, is being held without bond. No court date has been set yet.

Werner said Burrell, who was uninjured, is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 260 to 280 pounds.

Burrell pleaded guilty in July 2010 in Warren County Circuit Court to assault and battery on a law enforcement officer in March of that year, according to the state court system's database.

Records also show he was sentenced to three years in prison, of which one year and 11 months were suspended, and two years probation.
He also has two convictions in Warren County for grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, according to the database.

Werner said Courtney had a police dog in the car with him at the time he stopped Burrell, "but everything happened so fast he wasn't able to get the canine out of the vehicle."

Werner said police are withholding the identities of the citizens who helped the officers because they are witnesses in the investigation and any subsequent court proceedings.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident contact Detective Sgt. Jason Ryman at the Criminal Investigation Division of the Front Royal Police Department at 540-636-2208 or the Front Royal Police Department Dispatch Center at 540-635-2111.




40 Comments



Citizens need to show gratitude for our police officers every day. Only the law breakers loathe our men and women who are willing to keep the peace. To serve and protect is much more than a slogan. If this guy had been shot by an officer some would have been quick to protest excessive force yet it would have been justified. I'm grateful for the training these officers receive and for their dedication to preserving peace and serving the people of Front Royal.

They should have shot him. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Well said caveman.

And a huge thank you to those citizens! As a person who has several family members in law enforcement, I can only hope that people like these three would be nearby if my family ever found themselves in a situation like this while working!

Hoping for a speedy recovery for Sgt. Courtney. Thank you and Det. Lethcoe for all you do to keep this community safe.

Well put Caveman!!!!!
I do volunteer work at our local police force here in Texas and I see and hear stories like this all the time. I know laws and regulations are different all over the country but believe me if this had happened in California or Texas, it would have not have escalated that far.
And for 'oh conservative Me,' I agree.
Just be careful out there and hope the police involved have a safe and speedy recovery.

I hope this trash never sees the light of day again! He is a danger to society and does not deserve to be a part of the world! I appreciate everything these officers do on a daily basis to protect complete strangers! These punks break the law and then blame cops because they do their jobs and put these losers where they belong! Prayers for these officer's friends and family and keep up the good work for everything you guys do!

Although I am very sorry that these officers got hurt especially considering my family has known Officer Lethcoe for many years.....to say someone should be shot and calling someone trash makes YOU just that! Do any of you actually know this man? Do you know that he has serious mental issues for which his family has been trying for quite awhile to get him help and/or have him commited with officers and hospitals telling them no! Again I am sorry these officers were injured but maybe if there was help BEFORE this happened obviously it wouldn't have happened at all! My heart is was for BOTH the officers AND Mr. Burrell!

Attempted capital murder? There is no way he gets convicted of that.

I would bet that this officer... the Sgt is having all kinds of 'what if I did this' or 'what if I did that' different....---- I hope you don't let another day go by thinking this... this community is so happy you are alive and we are not laying to rest one of our very own uniformed. God Bless you sir... and God Bless your Det. who got there... and the officer who took you to the hospital... God Bless both our Police Station and our Sheriffs Office....there of those of us in this town/county who cherish our law enforcement. @ TWOOD... take a nap.

It never fails, does it? You have an aggressive, cop-hating psychopath repeat offender attacking an officer and some bleeding-heart nitwit explaining it all as mental health issues. If that's so then the Judge needs to grow a pair and put him where he belongs for a long time. Prayers to the officers and their families.

I am genuinely thankful to the police, fire and rescue personnel for their service to the public.

One giant step forward in taking criminals out of circulation is to elect a Commonwealth's Attorney who will prosecute the charges our town police and county deputies bring against them. If criminal activity goes unpunished or punished much too lightly, the result is more crime.

Wow! I leave an intelligent FACTUAL comment and you apparently unintellectual ppl call me names??? Apparently @CCboy, you have never had expierence with a person with mental issues! JUST LIKE CANCER....THESE VERY REAL DISEASES DO NOT DISCRIMINATE! Nor is it something you can cure only hopefully alleviate! I will again say that Mr. Burrell's family has tried repeatedly to get him help by having him commited where they have been turned down repeatedly! Mental illness is a very serious disease and without the proper medications things like this and even worse will happen! Look at some of the horrendous crimes some vets have commited due to PTSD(another mental illness in case you didnt know) I said before that my heart is sad for all involved but for anyone to say someone should've been shot or that they dont deserve to ne in this world is childish heartless and makes anything intelligent you MAY have said sound very ignorant!

Wow! I leave an intelligent FACTUAL comment and you apparently unintellectual ppl call me names??? Apparently @CCboy, you have never had expierence with a person with mental issues! JUST LIKE CANCER....THESE VERY REAL DISEASES DO NOT DISCRIMINATE! Nor is it something you can cure only hopefully alleviate! I will again say that Mr. Burrell's family has tried repeatedly to get him help by having him commited where they have been turned down repeatedly! Mental illness is a very serious disease and without the proper medications things like this and even worse will happen! Look at some of the horrendous crimes some vets have commited due to PTSD(another mental illness in case you didnt know) I said before that my heart is sad for all involved but for anyone to say someone should've been shot or that they dont deserve to ne in this world is childish heartless and makes anything intelligent you MAY have said sound very ignorant!

Well said twood these ppl are so quick to judge someone!!! He is sick n needs help I have known him for a long time now.... My thing is that of the tables was turned and the cops beat him what would have been done about it?

This story actually made me sick to read. I wish he could get the death penalty. I think the officer should have shot this man rather than take a beating like this. There should be tougher laws for assaulting an officer of the law. This man served 1 year, that is nothing. If he is mentally ill he should not have been released in the first place. We need tougher laws and judges who will enforce them.

So your sayn this guy should die bc he slapped a cop around? Lls id rather see a man on tha streets that smacks a cop around then ones that hurt lil kids and rape them that's where the law should be tougher... So why don't you Stfu about your laws n being sick... You kno what makes me sick pos like urself

Hmmmmm........sayn=saying, lis=at least, tha=the, lil=little, n=and, kno=know"...........yep, I'm taking you serious. Anyone else??

Maybe everyone is missing the mark here. 3 people are still alive. Whether you agree or disagree with what happened, justified or not, 3 people are still alive. A kid still has their dad, a mother still has her son, a sister still has her brother. Mental health has its problems and violence abounds everywhere. One fought for his life and won. One fought for another's life and won. One tempted death and cheated it. And in the end.........no one died.

@ sword congrats your not as dumb as you look!!! Did I ask for anyone to take me serious?I was jus spraying tha facts pimping!! Who's taken someone serious w a name like sword? Parents must of hated you lol

This was not a "slap around" you moron, this officer took a serious beating. The reason he did not draw his service weapon is that the assailant could have easily gained control of the weapon and shot the officers and bystanders. Police weapons can carry up to 14 rounds. the officer did as he was trained in close contact combat, that is prevent his deadlier weapons from being used againsts him and others. And yes our court and mental health system is in seriuos shape.

C'mon people.. It was a life and death situation, and he (Courtney) obviously didn't have the opportunity to alleviate the situation by being over-powered... It came about suddenly.. To twood82, yes, you are correct in your synopsis, but (hate that word!) it is society's problem in the Judicial system by allowing thig this multi-offensive individual to fall b/t the proverbial cracks.. Hope here is, we can improve on future situations such as this one... Reggie Arno Danville VA

Although this man was mentally ill, even with Schizophrenia he still had moments of lucidity. He approached Sgt. Courtney as he was exiting his vehicle, he knew what he was going to do before any officer got there. You should probably read the story,(though it is not in internet slang for you, I'm sure you could get someone to read it to you) before you let any thoughts come out of your head. Also, if a person is not a direct threat to themselves or others there is nothing any law enforcement or hospital can do. Because Mr. Burrell hadn't threatened anyone there was nothing legally anyone could have done. If cops and hospitals could put anyone they wanted away just because I'm sure a lot more people would be in a mental institution. Look at the situation from all points, Sgt. Courtney is an amazing man and officer, I pray for him to heal and come back and continue to protect our town.

Oops I called him trash...some one who was flashing people (which I'm sure there was probably a kid or two that had to see this) and then tried to kill 2 police officers...guess I went mentally insane for a second! It's called self defense by the way and this idiot was trying to KILL this officer so yes he had every right in the world to pull his gun out and shoot this guy...so you are telling me that we should let this guy out and say well he has "issues" so hopefully he will get help now because he hasn't for the last 33 years? If he wanted the help and wanted to be healthy, he would be on his meds instead of being on drugs. And yes I know mental illness can be a real disease and problem but too many people are using it as an excuse to get away with stuff. And luckily the officer did survive, but if the other officer wouldn't have showed up, this guy was going to KILL this officer and it sickens me that people don't see that as being serious or no big deal! But I bet that for the people taking up for him and saying well he is sick and he didn't kill people just almost, if it was your family member you would be singing a different tune.....lock him up and throw away the key so he can't hurt another person...he has had it too easy and had too many chances to get his life straight...any of you seen his charges from the past???

@taylor101

your = you're, jus = just, tha = the, taken = taking, must of = must have

I won't say anything about your parents, but if I stood in your gene pool I might not even get my ankles wet.

I'm just curious? If you stepped out of your car and a guy charged you and started beating you, you wouldn't go for your gun and try to save your life so you could go home to your children? It would be self-defense! And my comment about not a part of this world means not a part of the general public world, he needs to be locked away...he is the one who chooses not to take his meds and instead drink and do drugs so no, sorry but I feel no sympathy for him! And I don't know him personally but when I was working at a previous job, we had to kick him out of there because he was saying and going nasty things so if it takes him living in jail to keep the community safe, I'm just fine with that!

@ Geoff that's good you don't bring my parents in it you must like your life b****.... @ been there he was jus slapped around I'm sure if he wanted to kill him he could of easily, the officer needs to like anyone else that gets the s*** beat out of them get up lick your wounds and keep moving for real ppl get beat up all the time he should just be thankful he's still alive :)

Since you know so much about mental illnesses you should offer to help this piece of crap instead of making excuses for him. Fact - there are a lot of people with mental illnesses that don't do things like this. He needs a little EXTRA help and it sounds like you are a good person for the job. Good Luck!!

@ tom Jones so if this one of your family members would you be bashing them? My guess would be no!!! Who cares he's a cop he deserved worse then to just get the fire smacked out of him real talk!!!!

If this was one of my family members I would still expect for them to get punished for a crime they committed. Fair is fair and right is right. Officers don't make the laws they just enforce them, I'm sure whatever minimum wage job you have has policies you must uphold. Though your "street talk" screams of toughness I'm going to guess you've been to a police station on more than one occasion to ask for help. You really need to think before you speak.

As a supporter of Law Enforcement, I would love to meet whoever taylor101 is "real talk" he/she sure does talk a nice game... Probably one of the local front royal thugs that needs the taste slapped outta his/her mouth... Always able to talk it up on the internet..

As a supporter of Law Enforcement, I would love to meet whoever taylor101 is "real talk" he/she sure does talk a nice game... Probably one of the local front royal thugs that needs the taste slapped outta his/her mouth... Always able to talk it up on the internet..

I don't think having him put away will be a problem any longer.

@ themondaymorningquarterback lol your to funny Playa not internet tough guy here playa!!! When ever you wanna meet, there's no b**** in my blood.. "Real talk"

@ themondaymorningquarterback lol your to funny Playa not internet tough guy here playa!!! When ever you wanna meet, there's no b**** in my blood.. "Real talk"

@ Cathy42 yeah you say that till your faced with it, and Lmao minimum wage? Please I make more then any cop that works for frpd bet that!!! I'm probably paying your bills why you set at home living off the government
collecting food stamps and welfare check, I've never been locked up either or asked for any pigs help lol so why don't you Stfu...

@Taylor101 I'm sure you do make lots of money, and I'm sure it's doing some perfectly illegal! Only people who break the law don't like cops, nobody just doesn't like a profession unless they have a reason. This has gotten from the very important topic of Sgt. Courtney' speedy recovery, to Taylor101's ridiculous, IGNORANT comments that everyone has picked apart. I'm just glad Sgt. Courtney is well on his way to getting back on our streets with Boone to continue to protect us.

While 4ur411 was making a nitwit comment about the Commonwealth's Attorney that office was trying an attempted capital murder case. The jury let that guy walk. Let's hope that doesn't happen in this case, this guy needs to be off the street. Maybe the juries around here should grow a pair.

I understand that there are always openings at the FRPD. That sounds good for people like taylor101, it would sure beat working the late night shift in WV. I wish Sgt. Courtney a speedy recovery, I know that he does not do it for the money, he does it for the love of the job. I hope he never has to save and/or protect taylor101, then again, he works in FR not WV.....

I will tell you all what I think. I think that everyone on here who is bashing Clyde Burrell, have nothing but ignorance. I am not saying at all that what he did was right, but I will defend him. Talking trash about someone that you have no idea about is wrong and makes you just as trashy for it. I do thank our officers for standing up and taking care of the community, and yes they do have the right to defend themselves by all means necessary. But what you people don't understand about Mr. Burrell, is that he is sick. He has no home, no family and nobody to turn to. He only done this to find a place for comfort. The homeless shelter has turned him down, what else is he supposed to do other than get into trouble and hope he gets put away? He does have medications, but has not been on them due to the fact HE IS HOMELESS with no money to afford it. Attempted capital murder? yes, that is excessice, and I do not see that standing up in court. I seen the officer yesterday, and to me does not look like someone tried to kill him, just bruised up a little. Get a grip people. There is no doubt in my mind that if Mr. Burrell standing at like 6 foot being 300 pounds wanted to kill this officer, he would have.

lmf1988 i agree with you on this...evryone loves to run there mouth but noone knows the whole story all we know is whats put in the paper and thats not the whole story at all,...the whole story comes out in court.....

I don't normally post messages but I simply cannot help myself on this one. I have personally met Mr. Burrell, and he is not a murderer. He is a young many fighting mental illness who is lost in society today. He is homeless. He has a family member who has been tirelessly trying to get support for him for quite some time. The issue is that Northwest Community Services requires an adult patient to walk through their doors and ask for help. They are mentally ill - but they don't normally seek support on their own....they need an advocate. I know because I have a family member who is a mentally challenged adult. If the authorities would just listen and we could somehow fix the problem with our system...these horrible things would not happen. I see 2 victims here...the officer and the mentally ill patient. Come on people...we will all be judged one day...with the known facts. I would agree that the streets are no place for a mentally ill man, like Mr. Burrell...but neither is prison. He needs support from professionals who deal with mental health patients. While no one may ever know what was going on in his head when this terrible incident occurred, I suspect he was crying out for help - either scared that the officer would hurt him, so in his mind he was defending himself, or he was trying to seek shelter and food in any way that he could. I thank GOD that both victims are ok today.

OMG - the people who are defending that monster are pathetic and ignorant. Mental illness is a serious disease, yes, but he knew exactly what he was doing when he went up to Officer Courtney. His family has tried to get him help someone said?? Just walk into Northwestern or walk into the emergency room - he won't get turned away. And the person who said he did this to find a place for comfort - you're just as nuts as he is!!! Have him over to your place then - let him beat on you and your family - your mind would change real fast. He belongs in a cell with every K-9 in the area!!! Then Mr. Burrell will get what he deserves!!! Thank you Officer Courtney and Detective Lethcoe and all of the ones who protect us!!



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