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On the Beat: Deputy finds man on I-20 asleep in car

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.

A trip to nowhere

A Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy noticed a vehicle that appeared to be abandoned on the side of Interstate 20 eastbound at mile marker 100. When he approached the car, however, he noticed a man asleep in the driver's seat. As he tried to wake the man, the deputy reported smelling the strong odor of alcohol.

He yelled and knocked on the car door several times before he was able to get a response, and when the man finally woke up, he glanced over at the officer and said, "Oh, crap!" and began "driving" the vehicle by moving the steering wheel as if he was guiding the car, ignoring the officer.

The deputy continued to try to get the man's attention and finally opened the door to the vehicle so that he was standing right next to the man. At that time, the man looked over while still "driving," and said, "Oh, hey officer," and continued his fantasy journey.

The deputy was finally able to get the man out of the car and administer a field sobriety test. He did not do well and went to jail.

Phone-less man

A man was seen by a loss prevention officer shoplifting a telephone from Rite Aid. The officer confronted the man who began fighting with him. The officer was able to retrieve the store's phone and during the fight, the suspect dropped his own cell phone. He ran and the officer was left with both phones. The Covington Police Department is now seeking the phone-less suspect.

Copper thieves

Apparently the current low price of copper isn't enough to deter some criminals. The CPD reports that two women who were recently evicted from a Covington home went back into the house and stole copper piping inside the walls of the house, along with a metal covering for the air conditioner. A witness said when she last saw them, they were "yelling and cussing out the window." The police are in pursuit.

Just can't remember

A man called the CPD to report that a woman of his acquaintance stole his credit card from his book bag and used it at the QuikTrip service station. He told officers she told him she knew she took the credit card, but was too drunk to remember if she used it. When confronted by police she said she didn't take the card, but admitted she was "really drunk" and doesn't remember anything from the night before.

Attitude problem

A NCSO deputy was flagged down by several motorists advising him that three men were walking in the middle of Smith Store Road after dark and they had almost struck them with their vehicles. When the deputy investigated, he found the three and they stayed in the middle of the road as he drove toward them, as well.

When the deputy questioned them, one of the trio appeared to be the spokesman. When asked why they were walking in the middle of the road, he replied, "because I don't have a car." The deputy asked for the young man's ID and when he asked him how old he was, he said, "You got my ID. Add it up." The deputy described the young man as sarcastic and smirking, and told him because he was 18, he could find himself in jail for acting like that. At that point, he began saying, "If you're going to take me to jail, take me." After several more warnings, he went to jail, but not before telling the deputy that he hated all police officers.

Stinky cover-up

A NCSO deputy stopped a vehicle on Brown Bridge Road after observing it veering over the center line and the fog line several times.

When the driver rolled down the window to speak with the deputy, he noticed "a very strong odor of numerous colognes." This made the deputy a little suspicious and he asked for and was granted permission to search the vehicle. He found two bags containing a "green leafy substance."

Banged up car

NCSO deputies found a BMW about 6 a.m. on the side of Womack Road with all the windows broken out, the front and back lights smashed, scratch marks from front to back on both sides, the roof dented in to the point that it looked as if "someone jumped up and down on it," and both side view mirrors knocked off.

The deputy contacted the registered owner who said he left his BMW at that location six hours earlier after it had broken down, but it was not in that condition when he left it. A wrecker came and hauled it off.

Not a good move

A man who had been arrested for DUI by a Newton County deputy telephoned the deputy and asked him what he had to do to "beat" the charges. The deputy told him he could not discuss the case with him and advised him to get a lawyer. The man said, "You can just drop the charges," and the deputy told him that was not possible. The man then became angry and started screaming threats, telling the deputy he knew where the he lived and would (mess) him up.

Time flies

A deputy responded to reports of a reckless driver recently and when he found the man he told the deputy he was looking for his wife. He said she had failed to return home from a Christmas party. When the deputy asked him if he knew the date, he said it was May 2002. The driver was ultimately turned over to emergency medical personnel.

Valuables taken

A woman reported to the NCSO that her home had been burglarized. Taken was a $300 Nintendo video game console, a $200 flat screen television and a butter knife valued at $1.

· A woman called the CPD to report that vandals had taken the Chevrolet emblem off the hood of her Cavalier.

· A woman reported to the CPD that while parked "in the shade" at the library a man had approached her with a gun and stolen $500 in cash from her that she was using to "pay bills." She gave a detailed description of the man and told officers his direction of travel as he fled on foot. She said she had just taken the money out of two different ATM machines. When questioned closer about the robbery, her story quickly fell apart and she admitted she made the whole thing up. She was charged with false report of a crime.