The last thing police officers and sheriff's deputies expect is to be the victim of a crime. But someone broke into the home of a Long County deputy and an incredible fight ensued.
Limping from his wounds, Deputy Tony Porterfield handles fights and break-ins all the time. But he never expected one in his own home. Wednesday night, an intruder interrupted his dinner break.
"I was in full uniform and when he seen me, it was total surprise," he said.
To get in Porterfield's back door, the intruder had to walk right past his plainly marked patrol car. When Porterfield tried to handcuff Tavon Williams, a fight started for Porterfield's gun.
"He had it around and had it toward my stomach, threatening to kill me," he recalled. "I went crazy and I grabbed him by the arm and swung him around this way. We came across the dining room table."
Even after he finally cuffed Williams, the fight wasn't over. It spilled into the bedroom where Porterfield's girlfriend's children were sleeping. That's when she fired a warning shot through the couch and the floor.
"I was just thinking, 'Get this man out of my house,'" said Tammy Hurst. "Didn't know what he was going to do."
Still in handcuffs, Williams fought the five deputies who arrived as backup.
Porterfield doesn't even want to think what would have happened if he hadn't come home. "We go to calls all the time where it happens to other people," he said. He never thought it would happen to him. "Especially with the patrol car sitting there," he said.
Tavon Williams is in the Wayne County jail. Deputies planned to talk to him this evening or tomorrow morning. They're also waiting on the results of drug tests.
Porterfield has two compressed discs and plenty of bumps and bruises. He's just glad nobody else is hurt.