Police: Man involved in fight with Norfolk deputies pleads no contest


UPDATE June 17, 2020: Jeffery Owens entered a nolo contendere — no contest — plea last month on May 21. The assault and battery charge was amended to obstruct or resist arrest without force. He was sentenced to a year in jail. The remaining charges were dropped.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man who was involved in a fight with Norfolk Sheriff’s Office deputies that led to one of the deputies firing their weapon was taken into custody after an hourslong manhunt.

Norfolk Police said in a news release two deputies encountered a man who was acting suspicious inside the Public Safety Building around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

A fight happened between the deputies and the man when the deputies tried to speak with him, police said.

A deputy discharged a firearm during this altercation, and the man fled.

Photos: Manhunt in downtown Norfolk

Police searched the area for man over a period of nearly five hours. A bomb squad examined a bag left by the suspect inside the Public Safety Building out of precaution.

The man, identified as 58-year-old Jeffrey A. Owens, was later caught outside of MacArthur Center. He’s been charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer.

The sheriff’s office said Owens was shot and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. His injury was not considered life-threatening.

Sheriff Joe Baron said in a news release he has requested that Virginia State Police conduct an investigation into the deputy involved in the shooting. The sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation.

The two deputies involved in the incident have been placed on administrative duty.

The large presence of officers impacted transportation services and closed roads in the city during the early morning hours of Wednesday.

The intersection of E. Main and Union streets was closed while the bomb squad investigated the bag.

Hampton Roads Transit said the Tide light rail service was temporarily suspended from Ft. Norfolk/EVMC to Harbor Park.

HRT buses ran between Ft.  Norfolk and the Norfolk State University Station during the manhunt, but not in the downtown area. Buses ferried passengers who needed to access downtown.

HRT said light rail was authorized to resume service downtown just after 8:30 a.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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