Wrightsville Beach Officer Charged with Assault

WILMINGTON -- A Wrightsville Beach Police Officer is on administrative leave after Wilmington police arrested him for attacking two men outside a bar.

Ashley Freeman, 31, was off duty at the time. Witnesses say Freeman got into an argument with Casey Pharr of Wilmington and another man from Castle Hayne inside the Dubliner on Carolina Beach Road. The manager kicked them out. That's when police say Freeman attacked Pharr.

Police say after the men were told to leave, Freeman hit Pharr in the back of the head, knocked him to the ground and then hit him in the face. The police report also says Freeman punched the other man when he tried to help his friend.

Pharr told WECT the blow to the head knocked him out for five minutes. He says he has broken ribs and a broken wrist from the fall.

Officers arrested Freeman at his home. He was released after paying a $1,000 bond.

Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Bob Simpson says Freeman will stay on paid leave until an internal investigation is complete. That investigation is expected to take about a week.

Reported by: Kacey Gaumer