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Man goes for deputy's gun during altercation

COVINGTON - A Monroe man is facing a litany of charges after he allegedly tried to grab a sheriff's deputy's gun during a physical altercation last week.

Newton County Sheriff's Office Deputy Michael Lewis was patrolling the area near Ga. Highway 36 and Moore Road shortly before 1 a.m. Dec. 12, when he noticed a car pass by him with no taillights, he said in an incident report.

Lewis turned around and attempted to pull the driver over, at which time the suspect, Brian Wayne King, 22, of 2610 Summerset Drive, Monroe, reportedly sped up and ignored the deputy's lights.

As King, who also goes by the name Cody Ray Simmons, approached the intersection of Ga. Highway 36 and Henderson Mill Road, he lost control of his 1989 Honda Civic, which flipped over, striking several phone boxes in the process.

The vehicle came to a rest on its left side and King fled on foot, refusing to follow the deputy's instructions to stop, according to Lt. Bill Watterson, spokesman for the NCSO.

The deputy continued the pursuit on foot and at one point during the foot chase, King fell into a dried creek bed where Lewis was able to tackle the suspect. King still resisted, however, grabbing the deputy by his throat and placing him in a choke hold, Watterson said.

Lewis was able to break the hold, at which point the suspect tried to roll over and crawl away, but the deputy was able to restrain him. However, as the deputy attempted to place him in handcuffs, King allegedly grabbed at the deputy's weapon.

"At that point, the deputy was in fear for his life and struck the subject several times with a closed fist in the face and head area to fight him off of his weapon and off of him," Watterson said.

King then told the deputy he had HIV-AIDS and to let him go. It cannot be confirmed whether or not King is actually infected with HIV, according to Watterson, who said that a suspect's medical condition is covered under the Medical Privacy Act.

Lewis gave the suspect commands to stop resisting, but King reportedly continued to struggle, swinging his left arm at the deputy and reaching for his holster once again.

Lewis was eventually able to get King pinned down and hold him until Deputy Chad Hunt arrived on the scene and helped take him into custody.

The suspect, along with Lewis and Hunt, were taken to Newton Medical Center and treated for injuries.

King is facing numerous charges, including fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, felony and misdemeanor obstruction, aggravated assault on an officer, battery, attempting to remove an officer's firearm, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended license, no taillights and DUI.

According to the NCSO report, King was reportedly under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.

Joel Griffin can be reached at joel.griffin@newtoncitizen.com.