Dare commissioner Burrus
charged with simple assault
By IRENE NOLAN
County Commissioner Allen Burrus of Hatteras village has been charged
with simple assault, a misdemeanor, and ordered to appear in Dare
County District Court on Friday, Nov. 14.
The charges stem from
an incident in which an employee, John Paul Pehrson, 20, says Burrus
"grabbed him around the neck with both hands and pushed him into the
wall" at the Red & White Supermarket -- which Burrus owns -- on
Wednesday, Oct. 1, shortly before the store closed at 9 p.m.
to a report by Dare County Sheriff's Deputy J.A. Ray, who interviewed
the alleged victim at his mother's residence shortly after the
incident, Pehrson further stated that when Burrus "went to grab him, he
pushed (Burrus) out of the way."
Pehrson then told the deputy
that when he pushed Burrus, Burrus' hand hit his lip. He said he then
ran out of the supermarket "with (Burrus) chasing him into the parking
Ray wrote in his report that Pehrson had "marks on the front of his neck and a swollen lip."
said he wanted to press charges, and, according to the report, Ray
explained the Sheriff's Office's standard procedure for doing so in the
case of a misdemeanor that is not witnessed by a deputy and is not a
That procedure is for the alleged victim to
go before a Dare magistrate and swear out a warrant. A criminal summons
in the case was issued on Friday, Oct. 3. In a criminal summons,
the suspect is ordered to appear in court but is not arrested.
he was asked about the incident last week, Burrus said that he returned
to the store on that Wednesday night to fire Pehrson after several
customers had complained about him.
"I fired him," Burrus said, "but I did not lay a hand on him."
62, who represents Hatteras Island, was appointed to the Dare County
Board of Commissioners in 2006 to fill the unexpired term of the late
Joseph "Mac" Midgett of Rodanthe. He was first elected to the board in
2008 and was re-elected in 2012. He currently serves as
Burrus has also represented Hatteras Island on the Dare County Board of Education.