Man charged with sword attack in Oxford

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – A Marshall County resident was charged Thursday with aggravated assault after he allegedly attacked a man with a sword late in the afternoon of May 6.
Christian Rayford, 20, turned himself in to Oxford police after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin said an investigation indicated the victim was trying to restore order at the University Trails apartment complex on Whirlpool Drive when the sword attack happened.
“There was a fight, and he was trying to break up the fight when he felt something hit him from behind,” Martin said. “We found some witnesses who said it was a sword.”
The weapon has not been recovered, but witnesses identified Rayford as the aggressor and described the weapon. The victim was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, where his injury prompted a call to police.
“It’s a pretty good gash on his arm; it was nothing life-threatening,” Martin said. “We started our investigation at the hospital.”
Neither the victim’s name nor any possible relationship to the suspect or others involved has been made public, pending completion of the investigation.
Under Mississippi law, an assault crosses the threshold into aggravated assault when any potentially deadly weapon is part of the attack.
Martin said while Oxonians enjoy a lower-than-average crime rate, the town occasionally does see aggravated assaults with more common weapons.
“I don’t remember too many swordfights in Oxford,” he said.

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