Brittney Burns – Staff Writer
Deputies with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence on Buddy Lane in Otto Friday morning in response to shots fired during a verbal altercation. When police arrived on scene, Martin Brink was identified based on previous encounters with law enforcement. Brink was in front of his home and began threatening to kill law enforcement. The call to 911 came from Brink’s wife Amy, who reported to dispatch that her husband was drunk and was in a physical dispute with a neighbor, later identified as Ralph Henson. Amy informed dispatch that shots had been fired.
As officers approached Brink, he stated, “I have an AK-47 right here and I’ll [expletive] kill all of you, I am an ex-Marine, came and get me.”
Officers went back and forth with Brink ordering him to surrender, to which Brink repeatedly continued to threaten the officers on scene. Deputy Anthony Hopkins was able to position himself on the side of Brink and after Brink continued to refuse to follow officer commands, Hopkins deployed his taser and officers were able to place Brink in handcuffs. Even while restrained, Brink continued to threaten law enforcement saying, “I promise, I’ll kill all of you piece of [expletives].”
After securing Brink in custody, officers located Henson inside of Brink’s residence and observed a gunshot wound to the foot. Henson said he believed Brink shot him. Henson refused treatment for the wound.
Brink was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, and assault on a law enforcement officer. Brink was originally going to be given a bond based on his initial charges. While in front of magistrate Justin Stamey, Brink threatened to kill Stamey and do harm to his family. Brink was ordered by both law enforcement and the magistrate to stop, but he refused, at which point Brink was held in contempt of court and was booked into the Macon County Detention Center with no bond. Originally Brink was to be charged in contempt for 10 days, to which Brink told Stamey, “[expletive] make it 30,” to which Stamey obliged.
While securing the scene on Buddy Lane, officers received a dispatch call regarding a vehicle pursuit that was crossing into Macon County from Georgia. The high speed chase started in the early morning hours on Friday in Habersham County Georgia with reports of a stolen vehicle. Habersham County deputies attempted to stop a grey-colored Infiniti that had been reported stolen, when the driver sped up in an attempt to evade law enforcement.
The pursuit continued through Rabun County, Georgia before crossing the state line into North Carolina. Rabun County deputies joined the vehicle pursuit. The driver, identified as Austin Tyler, Thomason of SC, lost control of the vehicle on Tryphosa Road on the southern end of the county. After the driver lost control of the vehicle, Habersham County deputies attempted to approach the vehicle at which point shots were fired. A Habersham County deputy shot through the back of the vehicle and struck the driver in the head.
The driver of the vehicle was transported to a Georgia medical facility for treatment and remains in good condition. Charges are pending. Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell and Rabun County Sheriff Chad Nichols were also on scene. As in all police-involved shootings, the State Bureau of Investigation has taken the lead in the case.
Crystal Singleton, 21, the passenger in the vehicle during the pursuit, was arrested by Macon County Sheriff’s deputies and is charged with possession of a stolen automobile.
The Habersham County deputy who discharged his weapon has been placed on administrative leave while the N.C. State Highway Patrol and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation review the incident.