(UPDATED) Suspect charged with attempted capital murder of police officer after vicious attack – FRPD

File photo of Front Royal Police Sgt. Bryan Courtney and K-9 Boone.

Suspect Clyde Burrell Jr. charged with attempted capital murder

[This is a breaking news story. The original story is here: http://goo.gl/Sd8bW ]

Officer was responding to report of white male exposing himself to motorists

By Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report

About 1 p.m., Sunday, July 29, the Front Royal Police Department issued a press release detailing the attack on Sgt. Bryan Courtney 19 hours earlier near the intersection of 14th Street and North Shenandoah Avenue. Captain Mark Werner said that despite the severity of Sgt. Courtney’s injuries, it was hoped he could be released from Warren Memorial Hospital later on Sunday, just a day after what could have been a fatal attack but for the arrival of a second officer and the assistance of citizens in subduing the suspect and aiding Officer Courtney at the scene.

According to FRPD the suspect, 33-year-old Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr. is 5-foot-11, 288 pounds with an extensive criminal rap sheet.

The press release states:

“Chief Richard H. Furr has announced the arrest of Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr. white male 33 years of age, of what was reported as a 600 block West 11th Street address in Front Royal, Virginia. Burrell has been charged with one count of Attempted Capital Murder of Front Royal Police Sergeant Bryan Courtney. One count, maliciously causing bodily injury to Front Royal Police Sergeant Bryan Courtney and two counts of assault and battery to Sergeant Bryan Courtney and Detective Jason Lethcoe knowing that such persons were law enforcement officers.

“On July 28, at 6:36 p.m. the Front Royal Police Department received a call from a citizen that a white male subject was in the area of North Shenandoah Avenue exposing himself to passing motorists. Officers responded to the area and began a search for this subject at 6:42 p.m. Sergeant Courtney radioed that he may have the subject in the area of 1420 N. Shenandoah Ave. As Sergeant Courtney exited his vehicle Clyde E. Burrell Jr. viciously attacked Sergeant Courtney. During the attack Burrell slammed Sergeant Courtney’s head into the pavement multiple times and raked his fingers through Sergeant Courtney’s eyes. As Sergeant Courtney continued to fight for his life Burrell gained control of Sergeant Courtney’s expandable baton and commenced to beat Sergeant Courtney striking him in his face, arms and the back of his head.

“Sergeant Courtney was able to get on his back with Burrell on his chest and grab the expandable baton, as he and Burrell were struggling for control of the baton Burrell ripped the baton from Sergeant Courtney’s hands. As Burrell drew back the baton to strike Sergeant Courtney, Detective Jason Lethcoe arrived on the scene and was able to tackle Burrell getting him off of Sergeant Courtney. Detective Jason Lethcoe then had to fight Clyde Burrell.

“During the struggle a citizen came to the aid of Detective Lethcoe and helped in gaining control of Burrell which allowed Detective Lethcoe to get Burrell into handcuffs. Two other citizens then came to the aid of Sergeant Courtney rendering first aid. Corporal David Fogle arrived on scene and immediately transported Sergeant Courtney to Warren Memorial Hospital. Sergeant Bryan Courtney was hospitalized for his injuries and Detective Lethcoe was treated and released. Clyde E. Burrell Jr. was held with no bond a court date has not been set in this matter at the time of this release.

“Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Jason Ryman at the Criminal Investigation Division of the Front Royal Police Department at 540-636-2208 or the Front Royal Police Department Dispatch Center at 540-635-2111.”


[Updated to correct address and to add background on the subject.]


  1. Here’s a story that says volumes about the citizens of Front Royal. One bad guy attacks a cop and three citizens and a second officer get involved to help the officer. All over the country we hear stories about people walking around someone laying on the sidewalk or turning their backs when a stranger needs help. Not so here in Front Royal! Our prayers go out to the officers who were injured and our thanks go out to the citizens who cared enough to get involved.

    • Yeah good theory Conkey… Too bad the noble citizens were actually from Kentucky! Hahaha! The only citizen of Frunt Rural in this story was trying his best to murder a cop.

  2. It is great to see that citizens will come to the aid of one our our officers. They put their lives on the line everyday and receive very little appreciation. My prayers go out to Sgt. Courtney and all the officers and deputies that protect our town and county. Thank you to the citizens who stepped in to help. God Bless.

  3. First I would like to say I hope the officer is ok. My prayers go out to him. Second is I know this family and the paper isn’t telling you is the attackers family went to law enforcement and tried to get an emergency custody offer for Mr Burrell because of his history with mental problems. The request was denied by the migerate. This could have been provided if our laws would allow families to get help for mentally ill family members.

  4. The name struck a bell and seeing concerned citizens comment made me go find a picture to verify I had the correct person, but isn’t this man boderline mentally retarded as well? Its not a huge town, didn’t the police know this? As far as the magistrate citizen, good luck. They call Northwestern, lock them up for a week and release them with NO aftercare, unless they are uninsured. Sad, either way. Sad for the police, and sad for this man who I’m sure (and anyone that actually knows him would be) didn’t fully register what was happening.

  5. The police and Northwestern are all away of his mental illness. The family has been trying to get him help and no one would help them. Law enforcement and Northwestern was contacted by his family and none of them would help. Because our system waits until something bad happens. If it was my family member I’d want answers. I understand this is a horrible attack and my prayers go out to the officer, however I feel for Mr Burrell as well as he is a victim of our failed system. My prayers and thoughts to both families.

    • I see the critics have begun.. The man attacked a Police Officer, hurt the police officer and potentially probably would’ve killed him hadn’t other officers arrived… He is a animal… The system may have failed him before but hopefully it won’t fail this time with giving him somewhere to go for awhile….

  6. First of all, so called “concerned citizen”, please tell me what a migerate is. And if by chance you mean Magistrate, the Magistrate can only make decisions based on what a mental health professional and physician’s assessments are of an individual. The police officers, nor anyone employed by the police department, have any control over whether or not a Detention Order is issued for an individual to be held for mental health care.

    And to you and others who have the audacity to criticize Sergeant Courtney and Detective Lethcoe, or any other law enforcement official for what happened last night – How Dare You!?!? Way to blame the victims of an unprovoked, malicious attack on people who were answering a citizens complaint and who were simply doing their jobs. Either one of these outstanding officers could have lost their lives in the blink of an eye yesterday, and are alive right now only by the Grace of God and because caring, responsible citizens were there and stepped in to do what they could to help. I dare any of you who pass judgement on these brave men to put on a badge for just one day. I dare say that neither of you would last a single shift.

    Thank you Sergeant Bryan Courtney and Detective Jason Lethcoe, and all of the other officer and deputies involved for a job well done. Clyde Burrell is behind bars where he belongs, finally. Hopefully he won’t be able to be a menace to the citizens of Front Royal again anytime soon. If he does need mental health care, I’m sure he’ll get it now that he has no choice.

    • Let me make this clear, NO ONE was blaming the victims! I simply do not know how to say that more painfully simplistically clear. It IS a sad situation all the way around. Unless you personally have dealt with a mentally ill family member, you have ZERO idea how difficult getting them the help they need is in our local system. “IF” that is the case in this situation its a darn shame it had to come to someone getting almost getting killed. I pointed out that I, a random citizen have known this man had problems for over 15 years and I don’t recall ever even having actually spoken with him, just having seen him all over town, BECAUSE we live in that small a town. Its not blaming the police to ask if they didn’t know this as well. So get off your defense horse!

  7. Come on people you can not blame the officers for what this mental nut did. You but that badge and see if you could have done any better. Thank God for the officers we have in this town. The people does not want there taxes raised but they do not mind running there mouth and putting officers down. Just remember they have not gotten a raise in three to four years. So when you see one of these officer on street thank them remember they are putting there lives on the line for all of us in Front Royal and Warren co.

  8. I can remember when I lived on virginia avenue in my youth, he lived down the street….clyde burrell that is. He seemed relatively normal. Did remember his family was very concerned once when he had disapeared. The whole block was looking for him, and found him hiding in a tree I believe. His family seemed very nice, and he did also. But I reckon Clyde changed some through the years. My prayers go out to his family, and the police officers.

  9. It is very sad that the article had to become a place where everyone had to spout their opinion regarding what the Police may or may not have known or who knows what about the attacker. I have lived here 25 years and never heard of the guy. How about we go back to the facts – two police officers were attacked and Sgt. Courtney very well could have lost his life. I’m sure all the citizens and his wife and children are very glad he did not, as am I. Be thankful that we have these wonderful officers in this town and outstanding citizens and that for some reason thru all this the attacker is alive too. Take your forum for mental illness or who did or didn’t do the right thing or should have known somewhere else.

  10. I just want to say I’m thankful for the men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives everyday to protect the citizens. An shame on those people who make bad comments on what actions officers take when they are faced with a life or death situation. If your not the one fighting for your life you shouldn’t criticize what an officer does to save his own life and protect others around him/her. Thank God for these men and women!!!

  11. What you people dont understand is this man is lucky his is not shoot or dead.This officer could have shoot him once the suspect got his baton and began to strike him.A simple complaint turn into a live or death fight to surive,I commend the officer for a job well done.So until the cridics here have the guts to put on a badge and provide the service these officers do everyday and put there lives on the line every min to keep our streets safe,SHUT UP!!You havn’t got a clue what it takes do do the job,They dont do it for the money they do it to help people.Remember that.F.R.p.D. great job.

  12. I dident know Clyde personally but I do know that he came to the zbo right frequently and asked for change and even tried selling a bag of clothes for money.. but I hope and pray to god that officer Courtney will no OK..

  13. We have received some nice letters to the editor about this story. If you would would like to add yours, please email your thoughts to rogerb@warrencountyreport.com and make sure to mention your name and town. Thanks!

    – Dan McDermott

  14. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200… Go directly to federal pound-me-in-the-a** prison. Thank you. Thank you. That is all.

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