Crime Briefs Flee­ing man hides un­der camper with Pit Bull; Drunk driver ar­rested at 11 a.m.

The Covington News - - Crime & courts -

A deputy on pa­trol in the area of Ridge Av­enue no­ticed a ve­hi­cle af­ter the driver, once he passed the pa­trol car, re­port­edly ac­cel­er­ated and sped away.

The deputy turned around to stop the driver, who drove through the stop sign at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ridge Av­enue and Morn­ing­side Drive. The deputy fol­lowed the driver down Morn­ing­side to­ward Ga. High­way 162 and the driver re­port­edly con­tin­ued to ac­cel­er­ate as if at­tempt­ing to elude the deputy.

The driver, later iden­ti­fied as Jeff Howard Lunsford, re­fused to stop the ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, fi­nally mak­ing a quick turn into a drive­way on Lake Drive. At that point Lunsford al­legedly jumped out of his ve­hi­cle and be­gan to run. A chase en­sued and deputies re­port­edly fol­lowed Lunsford through a yard to the back­side of a home.

Lunsford re­port­edly ran around a camper in the back­yard and as he spied one of the deputies he be­gan to reach into his front pocket, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. Both deputies in­structed Lunsford to re­move his hands from his pocket and threat­ened to use the Taser on him if he did not com­ply. Lunsford ig­nored the deputies and al­legedly crawled un­der the camper with one hand in his pocket.

Con­cerned for their safety, one deputy de­ployed his Taser, which made con­tact with Lunsford’s right leg. Lunsford then re­port­edly dropped to his stom­ach and re­moved his hand from his pocket. Once the Taser fire ceased Lunsford al­legedly be­gan crawl­ing far­ther un­der the camper and came to a stop next to a large pit bull that was bark­ing and ap­peared to the deputies to be “vi­cious.”

Lunsford was told by deputies to crawl out from un­der the camper and he re­port­edly re­fused. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports he bar­ri­caded him­self un­der the camper be­side the pit bull, which was bark­ing at deputies and be­hav­ing ag­gres­sively, not al­low­ing them to get close to Lunsford. Deputies ad­vised him they would use the Taser on him again if he didn’t come out from un­der­neath the camper, but Lunsford re­port­edly con­tin­ued to move around, caus­ing the deputies con­cern since they were un­aware if there were weapons within his reach.

The Taser was used once again on Lunsford and he al­legedly told deputies he was com­ing out af­ter the sec­ond round. He re­port­edly crawled out from un­der the camper and was placed un­der ar­rest. While walk­ing to the pa­trol car, Lunsford al­legedly blurted out “Man, they didn’t sell it to me.”

Lunsford was searched and deputies re­port­edly found a metal crack pipe, in­side of which was a piece of Brillo pad and sus­pected co­caine. Lunsford also al­legedly had a metal roach clip in the same pocket.

Af­ter be­ing read his rights Lunsford re­port­edly agreed to speak with the deputies. He al­legedly told them he had been com­ing from Ridge Av­enue where he was at­tempt­ing to pur­chase crack co­caine and mar­i­juana. He told deputies the co­caine was for him and the mar­i­juana was go­ing to be for his cousin, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. He re­port­edly told the of­fi­cers “they” wouldn’t sell him the drugs be­cause they no­ticed the deputy turn down the road and that he ran be­cause he had a crack pipe on him.

Lunsford’s ve­hi­cle came back as not hav­ing valid in­sur­ance and was towed. Lunsford was trans­ported to the New­ton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter where he was charged with flee­ing and at­tempt­ing to elude an of­fi­cer, no turn sig­nal, two counts of ob­struc­tion, pos­ses­sion of co­caine, drug re­lated ob­jects and no in­sur­ance.

Drunk in the morn­ing

Of­fi­cers from the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment were called to as­sist with an ac­ci­dent with in­juries late Wed­nes­day morn­ing and ended up ar­rest­ing a woman for DUI.

The of­fi­cers were re­port­edly called to Pineview Drive at 11:55 a.m. and found an over­turned ve­hi­cle and de­ter­mined that Tiati Smith had been the driver of the ve­hi­cle. When they be­gan speak­ing with her, the of­fi­cers could re­port­edly smell a strong odor of al­co­hol com­ing from her breath.

Ad­di­tion­ally, she had blood­shot eyes, a very dry mouth and tongue and spoke with slurred speech as well as be­ing un­steady on her feet and kept wan­der­ing away from the of­fi­cers, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. Of­fi­cers placed her in the back of the pa­trol car to keep her from wan­der­ing away and be­gan to speak with a wit­ness of the ac­ci­dent, who re­port­edly con­firmed Smith had been driv­ing the ve­hi­cle.

Of­fi­cers told Smith she was un­der ar­rest and she al­legedly re­fused to do any so­bri­ety tests. She was placed un­der ar­rest and on the way to the New­ton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter Smith re­port­edly told of­fi­cers she could not be charged with DUI be­cause “she had just got­ten up” and “it wasn’t her fault the ve­hi­cle had flipped be­cause she had swerved to avoid a dog.”

Smith was charged with DUI less safe once she reached the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

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