COVINGTON - Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies proved true the old adage, "You can run, but you can't hide," last week when they took two wanted people into custody after they attempted to make themselves invisible by covering up with insulation in their attics.
It took law enforcement personnel from three agencies - the NCSO, Covington Police Department and Rockdale County Sheriff's Office - to cajole a woman out of the attic at a residence on Willow Green Court, but in the process, the woman very nearly destroyed her own home.
Warrants were sent to the NCSO from Rockdale County on Kimberly Colbert, 27, of 7110 Willow Green Court for charges of theft by taking. When deputies from both agencies first went to the residence another woman came to the door with her two children and told officers Colbert did not live at the address.
The officers asked for permission to search the house anyway and the woman told them they could. Once inside, one of the children told them, "Kimberly went up there," and pointed to the attic area, according to an incident report completed by NCSO Deputy David Gilbert.
Gilbert said deputies could hear someone in the attic, and they shouted for her to come down.
"She would not come down. Then in the back bedroom, she fell through the ceiling," Gilbert explained in the report, adding that her legs were hanging down.
When deputies tried to grab her, she was able to pull her body back into the attic and went into the other side of the house. Deputies had difficulty getting into the attic and were shouting for her to come down, the report said.
However, CPD Officer Doug Allen was able to climb into the attic and, according to his report, he saw the woman lying in the insulation on the far side of the house. He ordered her to come out. " ... she began to come out and then buried herself back into the insulation."
Allen said he attempted to use the Taser on her, but the exposed rafters in the attic got in the way and he was unsuccessful.
According to Gilbert's report, "Kimberly then almost fell into the kitchen area. We tried to get her. We could not get her down," he said.
The woman's next effort to get away came when she began kicking against the siding of the house, dislodging parts of it, according to reports. Fearing she would escape, Officer Allen again used his Taser on her, the report said.
The woman then fell through the ceiling into "the front room of the house doing more damages to the house."
According to Allen's report, "Deputies were waiting on the other side of the ceiling and helped Colbert to the floor, where she was placed into handcuffs."
She received additional charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer and criminal damage to property in the second degree.
Additionally, the woman who had initially lied to authorities, telling them Colbert was not at the house, was informed that she should find someone to keep her children for her because deputies would be returning with warrants on her on a charge of interfering with law enforcement authorities.
In the second instance, deputies went to the home of James Miller, 28, of 25 Arthurs Lane, in an attempt to serve a warrant for family violence battery.
According to an incident report completed by Deputy Patrick Gilbert, the deputies first made contact with the man's wife, who told them they could find her husband in the attic.
"I told Mr. Miller to come out with his hands in the air. He did not," Gilbert wrote in his report. "I found him in the corner cover(ed) with insulation. ... Mr. Miller was handcuffed and taken out of the attic."
Once deputies got him to their car, however, Miller began to complain of not being able to catch his breath. Emergency medical personnel were called and they pronounced him well enough to be taken to Newton County Detention Center.
He was additionally charged with obstructing and resisting a law enforcement officer.
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.