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On the beat: Men accused of helping themselves to wood

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.

COVINGTON - Two men were arrested at Ingle's on U.S. Highway 278 after they were allegedly helping themselves to almost 100 wooden pallets located behind the store, according to the Covington Police Department.

Police said Jeffrey Cortez Easterwood, 45, 1530 Austin Drive, Decatur, and Ryan Keith Miller, 40, 2271 Columbia Drive, Decatur were both arrested at the scene after they had backed a rental truck up to the loading dock and began filling the truck with the pallets.

According to a CPD incident report, when questioned the men told officers they worked for Eastside Pallet Company and had permission from John, a manager at the store, to load up the pallets. After speaking with store personnel, the officers were told there was no manager named John at the store.

While searching the suspects' vehicle during the arrest, officers located a glass pipe and a set of digital scales, both with suspected cocaine residue. The report stated both men denied the pipe or scales belonged to them.

Easterwood and Miller were taken to Newton County Detention Center and charged with theft by taking, possession of a drug-related object and possession of cocaine.

Boots made for stealing

A Porterdale man was arrested and charged with shoplifting after he allegedly stuffed two cans of Icehouse beer into each of his boots and left Kroger grocery on U.S. Highway 278 Sunday.

Spitfires

Two women became embroiled in a confrontation in the Kmart parking lot on Turner Lake Road after one of the women spit on the other.

One of the women told CPD officers that she was driving her vehicle in front of Kmart when she came up on a blue van that was blocking traffic flow. She said she blew her horn to let the woman driver know she was behind her.

The other woman then exited her van, walked back to her car and began shouting profanity and ultimately spit at her. The officer said he could still see saliva on the passenger seat of the car.

The officer said he then talked with the other woman who admitted she "might have spit on the female on accident when she was talking to her."

The spitter was arrested.

· Spit figured heavily in another incident that occurred at a local fast food restaurant when a woman alleged that employees spit into her strawberry slush and she called the cops.

The manager of the restaurant told CPD officers that the woman had been through the drive-thru window three times to return her slush drink. She said the first two times she said she could taste cherry in her drink and that was not what she ordered. Her money was refunded, and she was given a free slush drink along with free coupons.

The manager denied that any of her employees spit in the woman's drink and invited officers to view video of the employees working.

When the officer went over to talk with the complainant he said he could see pieces of strawberry on the lid of her drink, but the woman was adamant it was spit. She told the officer she wanted a report done and "she'd do the rest."

Rolling fight

Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the intersection of Crowell Road and Highway 81 for a fight that appeared to be taking place between a man and a woman in a pickup.

The woman involved in the incident explained they were not fighting. She was simply trying to replace the man's hat "on his small head."

Interested in botany

A woman called the NCSO to report that her middle school-age son had been acting "strange" for a couple of weeks, so she decided to go into his room and look around.

She was surprised to find a brown plant pot containing soil with a lamp over it. The deputy's report said it appeared her son was attempting to grow marijuana.

With the woman's permission, the deputy perused the room and found more surprises A machete and a kitchen knife were stored under the lad's mattress and the deputy also located numerous blue and black bandannas, a pair of shoes displaying gang graffiti and a sheet of paper with drawings of gang symbols. In his closet was a matching black ensemble - shirt, pants and bandanna - as well as a tire rod/crow bar.

A juvenile complaint was signed.

Mysterious explosion

NCSO deputies went to Atla Road where multiple witnesses complained of hearing a loud noise about 11:30 p.m. on May 23. Metal strips were located in the roadway

One woman said she thought a transformer blew up, but another witness said it sounded like a pipe bomb to him.

Missing purse

A woman called the CPD to report her hot pink purse went missing from her vehicle while she was in McDonald's on U.S. Highway 278. She told them she had locked the doors of her car and was only gone for about 5 minutes. She did, however, leave her windows down.

Much ado about nothing

CPD officers stopped a Dodge van for defective equipment and subsequently found that the driver was in possession of what he admitted to be crack cocaine, although they never saw it.

A computer search showed the man and the law had been at cross purposes in the past concerning his fondness for the substance and while talking with him, the officer noticed he appeared to have something in his mouth.

Back-up arrived and after much physical effort in trying to get the man to spit out what he had in his mouth, the officers were thwarted and he swallowed the substance, but not before he suffered a few scrapes and abrasions.

On the way to jail the man lamented to the arresting officer, "All of this for some cocaine. All of this over a little cocaine."