(from Lynchburg PD) On November 24, 2018, at approximately 01:40 a.m., Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services dispatchers received a call into 9 -1-1 about a group of about 15 people acting disorderly and getting ready to fight in front of the Dish Restaurant at 1120 Main St. Patrol officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to the area and observed the group as it transitioned into a physical fight. In order to maintain the safety of the those in the area, including the officer, OC pepper spray was deployed by the officer to break up the fight. By that time, the crowd had grown to around 50-60 people in front of the business and in the street.
As a result, the officers shifted their focus to the crowd in order to restore peace and safety to the immediate area. Most of the crowd complied with the officers’ orders to disperse and cease any disorderly activity. However, two individuals were taken into custody during the incident. After having received several verbal warnings, Veshawn Darrell Fuller, 30 -year -old of Lynchburg, was arrested for Public Intoxication, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, and Loitering. While that arrest was taking place, Donald Jamal Lipford III,28 -year old of Lynchburg, aggressively approached officers on the scene and assaulted one of them when he was told to get back. Lipford then resisted as the officers attempted to take him into custody and a police K9 was deployed to help them gain control of Lipford.
The officers were eventually able to do so, and Lipford was subsequently charged with Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstruction of Justice. Additionally, Lipford was already wanted on an outstanding Capias of Failing to Comply with a Court Order. During the two arrests, 3 of the officers received minor injuries, all of whom have returned to full duty. Any injury to the suspects also appeared to be minor. As with all LPD use of force incidents, an administrative internal investigation will be conducted. This will include a review of the officers’ use of force through the chain of command and our Professional Standards Unit. Additionally, the Department is constantly reviewing and analyzing
Our policies and procedures to ensure we are following best practices and conforming to updated legal standards. Large groups of disorderly and unruly people present a significant safety risk to the community and our officers. Therefore, it is important that our law enforcement officers establish peace and order to incidents like this before the situation escalates and become more violent and uncontrollable. During this incident, Lynchburg Police Department officers exercised restraint and provided opportunities for those arrested to choose a different outcome for themselves. We strive to work cooperatively with all members of the community whenever we can, and we will not be deterred from that mission based on the actions of a few nor will we neglect our essential responsibility to keep the peace and maintain order in our community.