By CALVIN PYNN
A Pulaski County jury deliberated for less than an hour Monday before acquitting a Radford man of assaulting police and endangering his child during a July domestic disturbance call.
Brett Compton, 29, was charged with felony assault, child endangerment and obstruction of justice in connection with an incident that occurred at his father’s house off Viscoe Road in Fairlawn July 23. Police were there to arrest Compton’s father, Ernest, for allegedly assaulting Brett’s estranged wife.
Police said Compton cursed an officer who stopped him from entering the residence when he arrived on the scene.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Det. Tracy Smith testified that she was holding Compton’s 22-month-old son when Compton grabbed her by the throat and pushed her down the hall as she held the baby.
Compton and his mother, Rodura, disagreed that Compton assaulted Smith. They said he was reaching for his son, who was screaming for him amidst the chaos.
Officers subdued Compton with a Taser gun during the incident, which Smith said occurred in the span of a few seconds.
Compton agreed with officer testimony that he was upset, but he said it was because he was scared for his son. He said fear for his son’s safety was prominent on his mind.
“I kept going towards the house because I could hear my son crying,” he told the jury. “I did what any parent would do.”
Defense attorney Jimmy Turk argued that his client was only acting on fatherly instinct throughout the turmoil of the incident.
“It’s about a child reaching for his dad, and a dad reaching for his child,” said Turk. “There is nothing here that suggests anything other than that he loves his son to death.”
Compton had been held at New River Valley Regional Jail since his arrest.
Ernest Compton is to be tried by jury April 21 on charges of malicious wounding, abduction and strangulation.