Wicomico Deputy makes arrest despite beating

Wicomico County Deputy Andrew Riggan is recovering from a broken elbow, abrasions and contusions to his knees, head, face and forehead after an altercation with a suspect who violently resisted arrest and ripped off the deputy’s body camera during the scuffle.

Riggan, 39, a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, will be out of work about 10 weeks recovering, said Sheriff Mike Lewis, who added he is proud of the deputy who, although injured, did not let the suspect get away.

After the suspect, Ronnell L. Stevenson, 38, of Salisbury, wrestled with Riggan, the deputy got to his feet.

“The deputy pursued him again, with an arm that was rendered completely useless. With his weak hand, he pulled his mace from his canister and was able to hold him at bay until backup arrived. Deputy Anna Bowie handcuffed him,” Lewis said.

Riggan stopped the car Stevenson was driving on Route 13 on Sunday for a cell phone violation.

“The guy tried to exit the car real quick and go into a unit at Foxfield Apartments on Foxfield Circle. The deputy stopped him and smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. While the deputy was awaiting the arrival of backup and running the license, he fled on foot with a large backpack on his shoulder. He got out of his car and ran on foot. The deputy caught him and while they were wrestling on the ground the deputy suffered multiple abrasions, contusions and a broken right elbow. This occurred while the suspect was resisting arrest,” Lewis said.

The suspect left Riggan lying on the ground as he discarded the shoulder bag.

“This guy was a large man. He was considerably larger than the deputy, but the deputy was determined to get him before he got into a house with dope. He was determined not to let him get into that house,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the bag was believed to contain a large amount of marijuana and a gun.

Witnesses interviewed said they saw three males with a shoulder bag entering vehicles after the altercation and leave the area.

“He was trying to get out of his car and go into Foxfield, he said to his girlfriend’s house. We believe these three guys assisted,” the sheriff said.

Lewis went to Peninsula Regional Medical Center to meet with Riggan who, he said, was in excruciating pain. An orthopedic surgeon confirmed his elbow was broken.

Stevenson was charged with first-degree assault, assault on a law enforcement officer causing injury, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest and held without bail.

Stevenson was convicted of marijuana possession last year, according to court records.

“This drug issue will never end,” Lewis said.

“I don’t care how much they try to decriminalize it, there will always be a black market for drugs. Where there is a demand there will always be a supply. We certainly have that issue here in Wicomico County, just like any other county. We will continue to do our job,” he said.

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.