By BRUCE COLLIER
A DeFuniak Springs man is in jail charged with attempted murder of a sheriff’s deputy following a car chase in which he discharged a 12-gauge shotgun at a pursuing law enforcement vehicle.
Matthew Olin Bryan, 35, of DeFuniak Springs, attracted the notice of Holmes County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Sgt. Michael Raley following a burglary in Holmes County on Friday, Sept. 5. Raley was on patrol and noticed what he called a “suspicious” truck. Raley stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Bryan. During the stop, Bryan drove off at high speed.
Raley pursued, and Bryan reportedly discharged the shotgun at Raley’s vehicle. Raley was struck in the head, and returned fire. Bryan was not hit. Raley was treated at Doctor’s Memorial Hospital in Bonifay for “non-life threatening injuries” and released.
The same day, Bryan was spotted by Walton County Sheriff’s deputies in DeFuniak Springs. The deputies attempted to stop him, but he reportedly grabbed his shotgun and fled into a wooded area. Lawmen from Holmes and Walton County, as well as the Florida Highway Patrol, began tracking Bryan, and eventually arrested him without further incident at his parents’ residence. He was transported to Walton County Jail.
Bryan’s criminal record includes convictions for drug possession, fleeing at high speed, and resisting an officer with violence.