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Two suspended with pay after pursuit

Updated:

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Investigators are looking into whether two Muskogee County sheriff's deputies were justified in their pursuit of a man who was struck in the head with bullet fragments.

Deputies Kenny Long and Roger Lee were suspended with pay Monday while the Muskogee Police Department investigates the chase.

Sheriff Charles Pearson said Brian Trimble, 23, allegedly ran a stop sign. Long stopped Trimble and called for backup from Lee, who pulled up in front of Trimble.

As Long approached, he noticed Trimble trying to hide something, Pearson said.

``The suspect threw his car into drive and hit the other officer's car and took off.''

Long and Lee believed that they saw the suspect with a gun in the front seat. They fired their weapons at the fleeing car.

Moments later, Trimble's car crashed into the yard of a south Muskogee home, authorities said. Trimble was chased down by Lee, Long and Muskogee police officer.

Pearson said deputies saw Trimble carrying two handguns when he emerged from his car. One weapon was thrown near a house, and the other was still in his hand when he scuffled with officers, the sheriff said.

Trimble was in fair condition at Muskogee Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

``He had bullet fragments embedded in his head,'' Muskogee County Chief Deputy Darin Smith said. ``We think it was from a ricochet. He didn't get a direct hit.''

Pearson said Trimble faces criminal complaints for assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted murder for allegedly trying to run over the deputies.
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