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On the Beat: A look back at the year

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.

Below is a selection of tidbits that made it to "On the beat," during 2008.

Unfortunately, the most talked about entry seems to have been lost. The story that brought the most comment was the one about the woman who was stopped for DUI and when she exited her vehicle wasn't wearing slacks or a skirt. The officer reminded her she had just told him she was returning from church and asked her where the bottom portion of her clothing was. "I go to a come-as-you-are church," was her reply.

Hope you find the story you liked best.

Everybody's arrested

Newton County deputies went to a residence after receiving a tip that a wanted woman was at the location. Ultimately it was discovered she wasn't there, but they went away with three others in handcuffs.

After persistent knocking at the door, deputies talked to a man who told deputies the woman they were looking for wasn't there and the only other person in the house was his girlfriend. The girlfriend gave the last name of "Smith," but said she had no ID.

Deputies asked permission to search the residence to make sure the woman they came after wasn't there, and the man said they could.

In the course of the search, they ran across someone hiding in a closet under a pile of clothes. He told officers he was hiding because he was scared. Turns out, he was scared because there was a warrant for his arrest. He was placed in handcuffs.

All this time deputies reported they were smelling the aroma of burning marijuana. Lying in plain sight in one of the bedrooms were other illegal drugs, so that put the householder under arrest. There was also a weapon he was not supposed to have (he was already on probation) found on the premises. Another set of handcuffs were called for.

The only person left was the mysterious Ms. Smith. There was no record of her existence, but when deputies looked in her purse, they discovered traffic tickets made out to another individual. She said they belonged to her sister. Deputies were able to find a phone number for the "sister's" mother who straightened things out in short order. Mom said "Pashaw!' and gave them the woman's correct name - the same name on the traffic tickets. She had missed her court date and lied to the officers, so that earned her a trip to jail, as well.

Must've missed a turn

A Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy stopped a car on Crowell Road after he noticed it weaving. Once stopped, the deputy reported that the driver appeared "disoriented," and instead of handing him his driver's license, the deputy received two credit cards and a government identification card.

The officer pointed out to the driver that he had observed him weaving and the man told him that he was coming from a night club in Decatur and was trying to get home to Conyers. Since going to Conyers from Decatur by way of Newton County is not a very good plan, the officer next asked the man if he knew where he was.

He replied, "I'm in Alabama looking for a gas station."

He was arrested and charged with DUI.

Confusing paperwork

A woman who was pulled over by a CPD officer for defective equipment - her car had no taillights and a badly cracked windshield - couldn't quite pull off a casual response, although she gave it a valiant try. When the officer asked for her driver's license, she handed him a handicapped parking permit and an insurance card. Realizing her error, she kept digging into her purse and finally found what she wanted - a stick of deodorant. After several more attempts, she finally produced a suspended license.

A terrible predicament

A man who was charged with shoplifting and public drunkeness after he tried to stuff a $4.14 bottle of Maneschwitz wine and a selection of young girl's clothing into his pants has bigger problems to worry about. According to information given the arresting Covington Police officer, the man has been banned from Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

I've been robbed

A woman told CPD officers she was startled awake in the middle of the night when she heard a banging noise in the house. She said she was too scared to get up, so she went back to sleep.

The next evening about

6 p.m., she began looking for her pocketbook and discovered it missing. It was then that she came to the conclusion that her home had been burglarized and $500 in cash was missing.

When Mama can't help

A deputy noticed a vehicle on Fairview Road without a tag and when he attempted to stop it, the woman driver kept going for more than a mile, finally stopping just before she reached Salem Road. When the deputy approached the car, he noticed the woman was talking on her cell phone and he ordered her to place her hands where he could see them. She ignored him and after repeated commands, finally turned and yelled, "I'm on the phone with my mother!" and returned to her conversation.

The deputy reported he was still unable to see her hands, so he very carefully opened her door and took her wrist so he could place handcuffs on the uncooperative woman. The woman struggled and when she saw she was losing the battle, screamed into the phone, "He's arresting me Mommy! What did I do? I was just talking to my mother!"

She kept up her struggle and scratched the officer as he continued efforts to handcuff her and place her in the back of the patrol car. Once placed in the back of the officer's patrol car, he began writing up the incident while still parked on the side of the road.

He said he looked up to see not only Mommy, but Daddy as well, blocking traffic and demanding to know why their baby girl was in the back of the patrol car. They demanded that a "captain" come to the scene. A senior officer arrived, but the daughter still went to jail.

Forgetful shoplifter

A Kroger employee found a shopping cart in the parking lot with a pocketbook in it. He looked in the purse to find the owner's name and lo and behold, he found a bottle of wine and a pack of beef tenderloin valued at $17.83. Meanwhile, the woman realized her mistake and telephoned Kroger and asked them if they'd mind bringing her purse out to the parking lot to her. CPD officers met her instead and arrested her for shoplifting, her third such arrest in three years.

Family Feud

A man and his wife got into a physical altercation allegedly because she spent her $300 government rebate check on having her animals fixed and beer and tequila, according to a CPD incident report.

Smothered,

covered and gone

An Alcovy Road Waffle House waitress told officers with the Covington Police Department that three men had come to the restaurant and ordered $23.91 worth of food. After eating, they placed a to-go order in the amount of $5.89 and went outside as if they were going to smoke while the order was cooked. Instead, they took off running toward a blue Ford F-150 pickup and fled south on Alcovy Road. Surveillance video is being studied.

Lover's revenge

A man reported to the NCSO that he had moved out of his girlfriend's Gwinnett County residence about three weeks earlier and had recently received a text message from her stating, "I have your IRS check. It went to pay for the insurance. The rest is in the trash." He wanted to file a report on the incident.

· A man was arrested after he bashed his wife's lover's truck with a baseball bat. It seems he came home, found the two in bed together (with all their clothes on) and became irate. When the lover attempted to leave, he struck the back of his truck with a baseball bat, damaging the left rear taillight. He also threatened to kill the lover.

Rolling fight

Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies were called to the intersection of Crowell Road and Ga. 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."

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 he 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 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.