North Carolina police officer charged in off-duty assault, break-in

Published 6:56 pm Monday, March 15, 2021

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A North Carolina police officer accused of breaking into a home, assaulting two people inside and attempting to prevent a woman from calling for help is facing several criminal charges.

Salisbury Police Officer Malik Byrd, 23, surrendered to authorities Sunday and was placed on paid leave while his department’s Professional Standards Unit reviewed the weekend altercation, Salisbury police officials said in a statement.

Byrd was accused of illegally entering a Rockwell home late Saturday while he was off duty and attacking a woman inside, grabbing her by the arm, and “pulling and pushing her,” according to a warrant obtained by WBTV. The documents alleged he also punched a man in the home and grabbed the phone from the woman as she attempted to call 911.

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The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged him with breaking and entering, simple assault, assault on a female and interfering with calling 911, officials said.

Salisbury police said the department was “fully cooperating” in the investigation and that each officer would receive ethics retraining in 2021 “to include a refresher on the department’s mission, values and vision.”

“Officer Byrd’s recent arrest and a previous incident involving another officer are two isolated incidents which in no way reflects the character of the men and women of the Salisbury Police Department,” the department added.

Byrd has been with Salisbury police since 2018, officials said. He was being held without bond. It’s unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment for him.