What started as a minor traffic accident last year in Spotsylvania County has resulted in a five-year prison sentence for a local man.
Maurice Scott Beasley, 26, received the maximum sentence Friday in Spotsylvania Circuit Court on a conviction of assault on a law-enforcement officer. Judge Ricardo Rigual cited Beasley’s lack of respect for law enforcement in announcing the sentence.
According to prosecutor Stephanie Fitzgerald, Deputy Frank Fleming responded to the accident on U.S. 1 on Aug. 3 of last year. He discovered that Beasley didn’t have a license or insurance on the vehicle, so he arranged to have his vehicle towed.
The interaction between Fleming and Beasley was cordial at first but deteriorated as the encounter progressed, Fitzgerald said. Beasley became increasingly frustrated about not having a ride home and refused to hand over his car keys.
Fleming was in his police vehicle writing out paperwork when Beasley dropped his cellphone onto the passenger’s side floorboard of the cruiser. When he reached in to get it, Fleming told him to stay out of the vehicle and that he would retrieve the phone shortly.
Fitzgerald said Beasley got more belligerent and Fleming decide to arrest him. A struggle ensued after Fleming got one handcuff on Beasley and both men ended up in a ditch on the side of Route 1.
The prosecution’s evidence was that Beasley ended up on top of Fleming, a 41-year law-enforcement veteran, and drew back his fist to throw a punch. The tow-truck driver intervened and stopped Beasley from throwing the punch and got him off the deputy.
Fleming testified that he was in the process of unholstering his gun when the tow-truck driver stopped the assault. Beasley remained uncooperative and was finally gotten under control after a third unidentified man stopped to assist. That man drove away before police could get his name.
The evidence showed that Beasley continued to resist at the magistrate’s office.
Fitzgerald said it took four deputies and the use of a Taser to get Beasley back into a patrol car.
An emotional Fleming, who suffered a strained thumb, testified Friday that he gave up traffic enforcement largely as the result of the incident. He now works as a school resource officer.
Beasley got the maximum sentence even though he didn’t land a punch and had no felony record prior to this incident.