Charges filed in gun incident, beating

Victim describes attack at car lot

Staff WriterMarch 16, 2007 

— A Durham man, who turned himself in to police Thursday afternoon, is accused of shooting at another person and then beating him.

Lester E. Lipford, 36, of 201 Maymount Drive is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, assault by pointing a gun, shooting inside the city limits and simple assault. He was released from the Durham County jail after posting $30,000 bail.

The victim, Ecliffe Lassiter, told authorities he was at a car lot at N.C. 55 and Riddle Road about 6:45 p.m. Tuesday when Lipford drove up in an orange BMW, stopping about 100 feet from him, according to a search warrant. Lipford got out of the car and pulled out a chrome pistol, which he pointed at Lassiter and fired, the document said.

The bullet missed.

Lassiter told police that Lipford then hit him on the left side of his mouth with the gun and punched him in the nose, causing it to bleed. Another person at the scene took the gun away from Lipford, who continued to beat Lassiter with both fists, the document said. Someone said the police were coming, and Lipford fled in the BMW, it said.

Lassiter and Lipford have dealt with one another in more cordial circumstances. Lassiter bought a car from Lipford in 2003, and they played cards together. Lassiter thinks the incident was over "a card game the previous night that ... [Lassiter] won," the warrant said.

Police found guns, ammunition and weapon accessories while searching Lipford's home early Thursday.

Lipford was ordered not to have any contact with Lassiter as part of his release, court documents said.

Lipford has faced criminal charges in the past, including simple assault and improper use of dealer's tags. He has an April 2 court date for assaulting a female.

Staff writer Stanley B. Chambers Jr. can be reached at 956-2426 or stan.chambers@newsobserver.com.

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