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On the beat: Traffic stop yields two arrests

On the Beat is an occasional reporting of various crimes and complaints confronted by law enforcement personnel in Newton County in the course of their duties. It is compiled by News Editor Barbara Knowles, who can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.

An alert city of Covington police officer stopped an SUV for multiple traffic violations in the early morning hours Monday, but found the occupants might have had more serious things on their minds.

Officer Joseph Parkin reported that he stopped the vehicle after it left the RaceWay gas station on U.S. Highway 278 without its headlights and swerving into various lanes of travel. The driver of the vehicle, who told the officer he was going to Salem Road from Winder to meet a girl, could not produce a driver's license and his hands were shaking. When the officer asked him who his passenger was, he described the driver's expression as looking at him with "wide eyes and a look of being dumbfounded. He turned away from me and looked at the passenger and still was unable to come up with a name."

By this time, dispatch was informing the officer that based on the name the driver had given him, he had a failure to appear warrant out of Snellville. The officer handcuffed the driver and turned his attention to the passenger, whom he described as "extremely fidgety."

When asked for his ID, the passenger gave the officer his Department of Corrections ID. The officer asked if he had any weapons or contraband and he admitted having a knife that also doubled as a cigarette lighter, which the officer retrieved from his pocket along with a bag similar to those used to sell narcotics.

After asking the driver's permission to search the vehicle, the officer found another bag with drug residue (believed to be methamphetamine) in it; a switchblade knife; a New York ID and two bank cards that didn't belong to either man; a digital scale in a large plastic bag that also contained suspected methamphetamine shards; and an assortment of burglary tools.

Both men were arrested on multiple charges.

Taking a trip?

A possible drunk driver was stopped by a Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy on the Covington Bypass Road recently, and when the officer routinely asked him where he was coming from, the man responded by asking the deputy if he had heard what was happening in Covington. The suspect said that lava was moving under the ground, causing it to get hot and bunch up. The driver said he was waiting for it to cool off before he went home so he could see the hot spots in the road. He also said he was seeing pink colors in the sky from the lava in the ground.

The deputy reported that he asked the driver to get out of his vehicle and that the driver had a hard time maintaining his balance. The deputy told him he wanted to perform a field sobriety test and asked if anything was wrong with his eyes. He told him he used to have worms in them, but he'd had them sucked out.

The deputy next asked if there was anything wrong with his feet or legs that might keep him from walking or standing correctly. The suspect told him a snake had bitten him on his left foot and that it was rotten.

The suspect was transported to the Newton County Detention Center and was charged with DUI-drugs, pending lab results.

Girlfriend vandalism

A man called the NCSO to report that two of his vehicles had been spray-painted and he thought his girlfriend did it. He didn't want to press charges. Later he called back to say she had apparently slashed a tire on one of his vehicles, as well. He said she's done it before.

Irate 'boyfriend/friend'

A woman notified the CPD that a "boyfriend/friend," who had been living at her house for the past two weeks after she had not seen him for a year, had chased her around the apartment and eventually out into the street, all the while yelling obscenities at her. The upset was apparently due to her telling him she had had a sexual relationship with his brother. Some of his family members were eventually successful in pulling him away from the woman, and she told officers she would be spending the night at her mother's house until she could obtain a warrant and restraining order.

Same father

Two women apparently got into a verbal altercation at a beauty shop when one of them told the other that she was going to "kick her a--," and bumped up against her "in a harsh manner," according to a CPD incident report. The victim told the officer who answered the call that the altercation was because the two women's children were fathered by the same man and the other woman believed she had caused him to be arrested recently.

Stolen fuel

An employee of Harvey's Movers on Access Road notified the NCSO that someone entered a fenced area on the property and siphoned 230 gallons of diesel fuel (valued at $1,010) from a truck. Also stolen was an empty 50-gallon diesel tank, valued at $500; a homemade utility trailer, valued at $1,100; and a John Deere lawn tractor valued at $8,000.

· The theft of 300 gallons of diesel fuel from a construction site on Fairview Road was also reported to the NCSO. That fuel was valued at $1,200.

· A woman reported that one of her tires had been slashed and someone siphoned $10 worth of fuel from her Jeep while she was shopping inside The Home Depot.

Stolen canines

A woman on Lakeside Trail reported that someone came into her yard and stole her cocker spaniel valued at $1,060.

· A woman living in High Point Mobile Home Park called to report that her pit bull puppy, weighing approximately 25 pounds, had been taken. She said the dog was chained to a concrete block and that her neighbors had threatened to take the dog before. The neighbors moved out the same day the dog went missing.

Oops, I forgot

The owner of a tire dealership on Ga. Highway 36 notified the NCSO that a woman came to his place of business and had four new tires put on her Mitsubishi and left without paying for them. Deputies went to her house and she said she was "unaware of payment not being made." The deputy followed her back to the tire dealership, where she made arrangements to pay. The deputy left thinking all was well, but the owner called him back a few minutes later to let him know the woman had left again without paying, but this time she had left her car behind.

Burning love

A woman called the NCSO to report that her "soon-to-be ex-husband" had burned more than half of her clothing.

Garbage collector

A woman called the CPD to report that someone was moving her trash can in the rear of her apartment and had taken her trash. She also said someone had tampered with a window screen.

· A man notified the NCSO that he observed a Honda Accord, possibly a Prelude, pull up to the curb where his garbage cans were located. He said the car was driven by a white man and a black man passenger got out of the car and "appeared to have put something inside his trash can." He told officers the man then got back into the car which took off at a high rate of speed.

The complainant said he checked inside the trash cans, but was unable to locate anything that did not belong.

· A man called the NCSO to say that his wife told him she saw the neighbor's dogs trying to get into the back of his truck to get at the garbage he had not yet taken to the dump. He said there was paint damage to his vehicle, and although his neighbor said he would take care of the damages, he wanted to file a report should there be a problem.