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On the beat: Driving teacher nabbed for DUI wreck

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.

Shoulda known better

A driver collided with another vehicle on Emory Street, but left the scene of the crash before Covington Police arrived. They found him a short time later in the check-out line at Kroger paying for his groceries.

When the police officer asked him why he left the scene of the accident, he said there was no damage so he didn't bother waiting around. Witnesses stated the man had not gotten out of his car to see whether there were damages.

While speaking with the man, CPD officers said they began to suspect he may have been inebriated, what with a "heavy odor" of alcohol emitting from him and his inability to perform a field sobriety test.

He was arrested, and on the way to jail, he told the officer he should have known better than to drink and drive in view of his previous profession. He is a retired driver's education teacher.

Quick snatch

Two black men reportedly went into QuikTrip on U.S. 278 and appeared to store clerks to be using the ATM machine. However, they noticed as the two left the store, they were carrying a box with a coat over it. When employees approached the men and asked what they had taken from inside the store, they reportedly replied, "Nothing, nothing," and got into an SUV and left.

Employees told officers they thought a third man was involved in the incident and he was still parked in a vehicle behind the store. While talking with this third individual, officers noticed a brown coat on the ground nearby. Under it they found multiple cartons of cigarettes which included 12 cartons of Newports valued at $336; six cartons of Winstons valued at $114; 10 cartons of Marlboros valued at $270; and 1 carton of Camels valued at $28. Total value of the cigarettes was $750. The man was arrested and officers are looking for his buddies.

Just act nonchalant

If you've got something to hide from the police and come up on a police cruiser, it might be wise to just keep driving instead of calling suspicion to yourself by breaking traffic laws and acting furtively.

A woman and two men were traveling down Brown Bridge Road and when they spotted a CPD officer, the female driver abruptly turned into the subdivision without bothering to get into the turn lane or using her blinker. The officer watched as she drove around the block and exited the subdivision, again not using her turn signal.

"She acted in a suspicious manner by ducking her head while driving and continued to look into the rear view mirror. She was on her cell phone the entire time," the incident report states.

The officer conducted a traffic stop and the two male passengers jumped out and ran, another clue that things might not be quite right.

The woman driver said she knew them only by nicknames and had no idea why they would run from the police.

It soon became clear, however, as officers found 13 green plastic bags with suspected marijuana and four ecstasy pills wrapped in plastic in the woman's car. In her purse were three more small bags containing suspected marijuana.

She was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and failure to use a turn signal, among other charges.

'Guilty'

A Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy arrested a man for DUI who couldn't locate his driver's license and couldn't remember "which foot I should turn on" during the field sobriety test. He was taken to jail and the deputy reported that before he could administer the breathalyzer test, the man told him, "I just want to plead guilty to this DUI now." The deputy explained he wasn't the one who took the guilty or innocent pleas.

Paint vandal

A woman called the NCSO to report that someone had broken into her residence and sprayed red paint all over possessions. Officers found red paint on $990 worth of blue jeans; $1,000 worth of shirts; $400 worth of jackets; and $100 worth of underwear.

A romantic gesture

A man was arrested by the Conyers Police after he was seen by employees of Kroger on Ga. 138 shoplifting four plastic bottles of Bud Light and a white stuffed bear. The suspect told officers the bear was for "his lady" and the beer was for him. Total value of the items taken was $21.88.

'Oh, by the way ...'

A man was stopped by the CPD for suspected DUI, but maintained it had been several hours since he'd had one beer. His speech was slurred, he reeked of alcohol and he couldn't stand without assistance, so the officer was skeptical. The man offered an explanation for his state, however: "Just so you know, I took three Lortabs a couple of hours ago," he admitted as he was being placed under arrest.

A mystery

A man called the NCSO to report that he went to Kroger and purchased several items, leaving with his wallet in his right hand. When he got home, the wallet was no longer in his hand and he hasn't seen it since. It contained $500 in cash.

· A man reported he was walking along the roadway and the next thing he knew he woke up in a ditch around 5:30 a.m. He said he had left his residence the night before at 11 p.m. after an argument with his wife. He thinks a car came by and someone threw something out the window, striking him in the head and rendering him unconscious for more than five hours.

Something to work with

A security officer at Kmart spotted a man cutting the security band from a ratchet set and concealing the tools in his coveralls. The man also loaded up his clothing with a magnet, battery charger, vac clamps, a mini maglite and a battery recharger. He was arrested and the tools were returned to Kmart.

Gotta go

A mother called the NCSO to report her son had apparently taken her car without permission. A report was taken and the deputy shortly spotted the vehicle at a nearby house. The deputy asked the youngster why he had taken his mother's car and he said he knew it was wrong and he was sorry, "but he had to get away from there."

Text threat

A man called the NCSO to report he'd received a text message from an unknown person that read, "u go 2 sleep, youll wake up in the sewer."

Nap time

Employees of McDonald's restaurant on Salem Road called the NCSO to report someone had fallen asleep in their drive-thru lane. Officers found a man fast asleep and when they woke him they could smell alcohol. He couldn't perform the field sobriety test and a plastic cup was in the cup holder of the vehicle, which was described as "a yellow liquid with an alcoholic odor." He refused to take a breathalyzer test until he spoke with his attorney.

It's all her fault

NCSO deputies were called to the scene of a family fight and found a man standing in the front yard throwing his hands up in the air and yelling obscenities. He admitted he broke the front window of a woman's home and "punched out her f---ing tires." The deputy began searching the man prior to arresting him and found a small plastic bag of suspected marijuana. The man said the woman only called the cops "because she knew I would be dirty."