Sheriff’s Office: Man burned, spit at officers

Eric Murphree. (Courtesy the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office. April 6, 2014)

GENEVA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Van Buren County 19-year-old faces several charges after allegedly assaulting another man, burning a police officer with a cigarette and spitting in a deputy’s face.

It happened just before 6 p.m. Sunday in the 700 block of 67th Street in Geneva Township, east of South Haven, according to a release from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies and South Haven police officers were first called to the scene for an assault involving two men. When they arrived, the sheriff’s office said, they found that Eric Murphree and a 39-year-old had gotten into an argument that escalated to Murphree assaulting the other man.

Murphree, 19, of the Grand Junction area was combative when authorities showed up, the sheriff’s office said. He allegedly struggled with officers and burned a South Haven police sergeant with a cigarette.

When he was being taken to a police cruiser, he struggled more and spit in a deputy’s face, the sheriff’s office says.

The 39-year-old victim from the South Haven area was treated as the scene. Murphree was taken to the emergency room in South Haven for treatment of minor injuries.

Murphree now faces charges of simple assault, resisting and obstructing a police office, aggravated assault on a police office and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

He was arraigned Monday. Bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety.

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