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Freeport prisoner faces assault charge after licking officer

Freeport police Sgt. Jay Newton took a licking from a drunken suspect and now he's taking a lot of joking from his fellow officers.

It really was just that - a licking.

While Newton was taking items out of the pockets of Ryan Halverson, 18, at the Freeport city jail early Wednesday, Halverson, who had his hands handcuffed behind him, leaned over and licked Newton on the left cheek. He tried to get in a second lick, but the sergeant moved out of range, police chief Jeff Pynes said.

Halverson, who was being booked on a public intoxication charge, was charged with assault on an officer. He remains in the Brazoria County Jail on $10,000 bond.
The licking could be serious, Pynes said, because it could spread various diseases to the officer.
"We want people to like our officers, but not to lick them," Pynes said.
Since the incident Newton has been talking a lot of ribbing from fellow officers, Pynes said.
"He's been getting a lot of lollypops in his internal mail," the chief said.
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