Man becomes violent during Mississippi traffic stop, arrested for simple assault of officer

Published 11:33 pm Friday, June 23, 2023

A Mississippi police officer faced some tense moments during a traffic stop.

In a statement released Friday, the Tupelo Police Department explained the officer stopped William E. Westmoreland, 43, for multiple traffic violations on South Gloster Street. Westmorland allegedly got out of the vehicle and became verbally aggressive. The officer ordered him to return to his vehicle when Westmoreland then drove away for a short distance.

“The driver then stopped and exited the vehicle again,” the statement reads.  “As the officer was approaching the suspect, he observed a firearm on the dash of the vehicle.

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“As the officer attempted to apprehend the suspect, the suspect tried multiple times to place the officer in a headlock. The officer was then able to handcuff the suspect. While seated in the officer’s patrol car, the suspect began striking the patrol car divider with his head. The officer immediately attempted to seatbelt the suspect into the vehicle to prevent injury to the suspect and while doing so the suspect head butted the officer.”

Westmoreland was charged with simple assault on a police officer and felony possession of a controlled substance. His bond was set at $20,000 by a Tupelo judge.