Man convicted of attacking, biting Lynchburg police officer

Xavier Shayvon Crute (Credit: Blue Ridge Regional Jail)
Xavier Shayvon Crute (Credit: Blue Ridge Regional Jail) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - A jury convicted a 26-year-old man of attacking a Lynchburg police officer in 2016 on Thursday.

Xavier Shayvon Crute was convicted of felony assault and battery on Officer L. M. Hughes and of misdemeanor obstruction of justice. The jury dismissed a count of felony assault and battery on Officer J.D. Gifford.

The jury recommended Crute serve a total of 2.5 years in jail and pay a $1,200 fine for obstruction of justice.

On March 5, 2016, the two officers responded to a domestic violence call at 1148 Straford Road in Lynchburg, according to evidence presented at the trial.

The officers said as they approached Crute, who was on the porch, they heard a woman inside loudly and continuously screaming. He refused to allow them inside the house to check on the welfare of the woman and refused to have her come out to the porch so officers could see if she was alright.

Officers tried to detain Crute when we went to go back in the house, but he resisted violently and pushed Gifford, according to the Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney.

At one point, Crute punched Hughes in the mouth and later bit his finger, although the commonwealth's attorney said the struggle ended when additional officers arrived.

Crute's sister, Laticia Crute, recorded the incident on her phone and posted the video on Facebook, which was later picked up by local media. The Lynchburg Police Department Chief Raul Diaz later held a news conference to address the arrest.

Evidence was also presented at trial that due to the fact that Hughes suffered an open wound from Crute's bite and officers tried to obtain Crute's permission for a blood test. Crute refused that permission, saying he knew what was in his body, that the officers would have to find out what it was but that the officer he bit would have to suffer the consequences of being bitten by Crute. Several hours later, officers were able to obtain a court order requiring a blood sample, which came back positive for a communicable disease.

Hughes testified about the psychological toll that positive test result placed on him and his wife. He also testified that all his blood tests since then have come back negative for the transmission of the disease, giving him a clean bill of health.

Crute, who was free on bail, is now in jail.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 24 at 9 a.m.