Report: Summerville cop fights for his life as man punches, chokes him

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A Summerville police officer was transported to the hospital after a 22-year-old man punched the officer and choked him outside a Summerville home this past weekend, according to authorities.

The Summerville Police Department charged Tyreece Raheam Stokes with first-degree assault, assault and battery on police while resisting, first-degree stalking and trespass after notice.

On Saturday night, a police officer responded to a home on Violet Drive in reference to Stokes being on property after being issued a trespass notice in July. When the officer arrive he said he saw a 62-year-old woman pushing Stokes and telling him to leave the property.

As the officer began to escort Stokes off the property in order to arrest him, the woman stopped the officer and took out an 8-inch knife from Stokes' pocket, police say.  An incident report states the officer and the woman then pushed Stokes up against a parked car in the driveway because of the discovery of the weapon.

Authorities say Stokes then began to resist and at one point pulled his arm out of the officer's grip. The officer said Stokes and he then fell backwards against another parked car in the driveway.

According to investigators, Stokes struck the officer in the throat with his hand which stunned the officer causing him to fall to the ground.  Police say Stokes then punched the officer in the head several times, then got on top of the officer and began to choke him.

The officer said he told Stokes several times to get off him, and began to strike Stokes in the face in an attempt to get Stokes off of him who was continuing to choke him.  The woman then began to assist the officer by putting Stokes in a headlock in an attempt to get him off the officer, police say.

The officer reported that he believed that Stokes was trying to kill him. According to the officer, he began thinking he was going to have to shoot Stokes to stop him from taking his life. The officer said he had a "very difficult time" fighting since he was unable to breathe.

The officer reported that as he was blacking out and about to give up, he could hear sirens coming to help which gave him the strength to continue to fight for his life. The officer said he then decided not to shoot Stokes since the woman was also on top of him as she was trying to stop Stokes from choking the officer.

According to police, Stokes continued to hit the officer in the face after the officer was able to get the suspect off of him.

The officer said he yelled at Stokes several times to stop resisting. Authorities say during this time, Stokes continued to strike the officer who then struck Stokes several times with his fists as well as his knee, while telling him stop resisting.

Authorities say the officer said he was able to regain control of Stokes and detain him by getting on top of him. A sergeant then arrived and deployed a taser, which had no effect on Stokes, according to police.

Once police officers took Stokes into custody, the officer reported that he had a very difficult time breathing and briefly lost consciousness twice after assisting units arrived.

Police say after the officer regained consciousness, he was escorted to the scene and began to speak to the female victim about the incident. A police report states as he was speaking with the victim, he became light headed and passed out on the scene.

The officer was transported to Summerville Medical Center and was treated for a possible throat injury from being chocked, and possible head injury from being struck in the head several times.

The woman reported that during the altercation, Stokes also attempted to take the officer's gun.

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