CUSSETA, Ala. (WRBL) – A Valley man is facing numerous charges including Attempted Murder after a struggle with law enforcement leads to him allegedly biting a deputy and firing gunshots. 

According to Chambers County Sheriff Jeff Nelson on Tuesday night, an Alabama State Trooper, a Chambers County Deputy, and Reserve Deputy encountered a suspicious vehicle at Cusseta Travel Plaza on May 31, 2023, at approximately 10:35 CST. 

The vehicle was occupied by Joseph Blackstone, a 37-year-old resident of Valley, who was known to have an outstanding arrest warrant.

Investigators say, Blackstone, upon seeing the approaching officers, held a handgun out of his vehicle window. Despite repeated commands to comply investigators say Blackstone refused and exited the vehicle while pointing his weapon at the officers, making threatening gestures, and then attempted to walk away from the scene. Sheriff Nelson says a deputy deployed a Taser, striking Blackstone in the back. However, the suspect’s resistance persisted, leading to a physical altercation between Blackstone and the officers. During the struggle, investigators say Blackstone discharged at least one round into the ground, and while biting one of the deputies Blackstone managed to angle his weapon upward and fired another shot.

After multiple taser deployments, the officers were eventually able to apprehend Blackstone and take him into custody. He is charged with Attempted Murder, Assault in the 2nd Degree, Resisting Arrest, and Reckless Endangerment. Additional charges are pending.  Blackstone is being held at the Chambers County Detention Facility without bond.

The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is actively investigating the incident. Sheriff Nelson expressed gratitude to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Valley Police Department, and Lee County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in responding to the scene.