HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Hancock County Sheriff's deputy was jumped during a late night traffic stop Monday, and the suspects are still at large.
Hancock County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Don Bass said the deputy spotted a suspicious vehicle parked at a rest stop area on Old Highway 90 in the Pearlington community. When approaching the vehicle, Bass said the deputy heard two men coming from behind a fence.
"His concentration was diverted from the driver, and the driver at that point struggled with the deputy," said Bass. "Then, the other two subjects got involved with the struggle and the struggle ensued for quite a while."
Bass reports one suspect reached for the deputy's gun. Bass said the deputy's K9 may have saved his handler's life.
"He was able to press his button for his dog. The K9 was able to exit the vehicle and make contact with two of the three subjects and we believe they have been bitten by the K9 dog."
But the suspects managed to get away. Authorities report the trio, all described as black men, took off in a blue Lincoln Towncar with a dark colored top and custom rims.
Bass wouldn't speculate on whether he believed this attack is related in any way to recent violence against law enforcers in other parts of the country and in Mississippi.
"We don't know at this time. With this investigation with everything going on right now we will look at it both ways and we will try to determine that with this investigation. It could be an isolated incident we could be dealing with something else or it could very well be. We will try to get to the bottom of it and make that determination. I stress to all the officers right now and deputies they have to be on their toes. Things are changing we have to take every precaution we can."
Sheriff Ricky Adam said the deputy suffered a cut to the forehead and several other injuries. The deputy was released from an area hospital early Tuesday morning.
The Bay St. Louis and Waveland Police Departments are assisting in the search for the suspects. If you have any information on the suspects or where they might be, you're asked to contact the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 255-9191.