Officer attacked in Taco Abajo fight - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Officer attacked in downtown Savannah fight

Charles Howell (Source: SCMPD) Charles Howell (Source: SCMPD)
James Edward White (Source: SCMPD) James Edward White (Source: SCMPD)

Police have charged two Savannah men after an officer was attacked in a fight at a downtown restaurant and bar Sunday morning.

Charles Howell, 22, of a Wilemere Dr. address, and James Edward White, 22, of a Staley Ave. address, were arrested after the 2:15 a.m. incident at Taco Abajo on West Broughton St.

Howell has been charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction by resisting and simple battery of an officer. White has been charged with disorderly conduct, battery and obstruction by hindering.

The men were arrested after Downtown Precinct officers from the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department arrived to break up a large crowd and a fight that was happening in the street in front of Taco Abajo. Police were also asked by restaurant staff to enter the restaurant and break up another one inside.

Once the officers were inside, they began pulling participants apart and ordering them to leave on behalf of the restaurant. Howell refused to leave so police began to escort him through the crowd and up the stairs to the door. While police were escorting Howell, White screamed at officers, warning them not to touch his cousin.

White then jumped on the back of the officer escorting Howell, pushing him to the floor and grabbing him around the neck. Other officers pulled White away, but not before one officer had to grab his own holstered gun to keep it from being taken and another officer lost his police radio.

One man was arrested for the original incident on West Broughton St. and a weapon was found, but authorities have not connected the two.

Police were called to the area multiple times over the weekend to deal with large crowds. At 1:19 a.m. Friday, police had to disperse more than 100 people who were outside awaiting entry into the small restaurant. Loud music was also being played from a vehicle that was parked in front. Police ordered the people outside of the restaurant to disperse. Heavy rains began to fall, aiding the process.

Police are continuing to investigate the incidents.

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