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Name released in traffic stop death

COVINGTON - Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown has released the name of the man who died following an attempted traffic stop Sunday afternoon.

Brown said Thursday the man is Shane Malcom, 22, of 152 Marble Drive in Oxford.

When Brown released information on the incident Tuesday to the media, he said Malcom's name was not being released pending notification "of the entire family."

"I have met with the immediate family and have expressed our condolences and concerns with the family," Brown said. "(It is) equally painful for me because I've known the family for many years. I knew the deceased when he was just an infant and anytime there is an untimely death, it always raises concerns."

Malcom's death occurred about 10:30 a.m. when a deputy spotted a vehicle that he had attempted to stop on a previous occasion and once again attempted the traffic stop on Rocky Plains Road, Brown explained earlier this week. The sheriff said the driver refused to stop and continued to Digby Road at speeds of "less than 100 mph," where he "basically slid off the road." He said the vehicle, a Lincoln Town Car, hit a small tree doing "very minor damage to the car," adding that it was drivable.

Following the crash, Brown said the suspect exited the car and fled on foot.

John Bankhead, spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation which is conducting an independent investigation into the incident, said there was a scuffle and the suspect got away from the deputy who said he saw him pull something from his pocket.

"He thought it might be a gun, but it turned out it was not," Bankhead said. "He caught up with him and tried to tackle him and used pepper spray ... but the guy got away. He (said) he noticed there appeared to be some tinfoil in his mouth."

When backup arrived a short time later, the man was found lying face up in a creek in about 6 inches of water, Bankhead said.

"They observed he was apparently having some health issues, life-threatening issues and proceeded with life-saving measures," the sheriff said. "There weren't any visible injuries .... he appeared to have some difficulties or was in a distressed mode. Officers administered CPR and called paramedics who took over and performed life-saving methods until they arrived at Newton General ER and turned him over to the hospital staff."

Brown said the man died at the hospital and the investigation into the crash was turned over to the Georgia State Patrol.

Also, Brown said Tuesday that the NCSO internal affairs division is also investigating to ascertain if any department policy violations had occurred.

"Our internal investigation should be complete and finalized Friday," he said, adding that toxicology reports are still pending following an autopsy.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.