Attempting to secure the safety of another, a Neosho police officer was injured while making an arrest Friday morning.


Chief Dave McCracken said police responded to a reported domestic disturbance and assault in the 100 block of N. High St. at 7:55 a.m. McCracken said officers arriving at the apartment determined that a man and his girlfriend were into a dispute that appeared to be physical, and requested back up.


“Officers attempted to gain entry to ensure the safety of all involved and were met at the door by the suspect who became belligerent and assaulted the officer,” McCracken said. “A struggle ensued, the suspect was tased two times and finally taken into custody, but one of the officers was assaulted and injured and was taken to Freeman Neosho, treated and released.”


McCracken reported officer Brandon Beshears sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the altercation.


The police chief explained the altercation was initiated when the suspect came to the door with his hand in his pocket, and when asked to remove his hand from his pocket for safety reasons, he turned and bolted for the bathroom and flushed suspected methamphetamine down the toilet.


Thomas W. Hammack, 53, was arrested and taken into custody. Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Jake Skouby filed four felony charges against Hammack: second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest for a felony, tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


In a probable cause statement, Beshears said physicians determined he suffered strained and pulled muscles in his back and right shoulder area, caused by his right collarbone popping out of place when he was hit by Hammack, causing him to strike the open door.


The officer also reported that a glass pipe with residue was also seized from the apartment.