Man wanted on traffic incident which injured deputy turns himself in

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- A man wanted since December on numerous traffic-related charges, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, turned himself in to the Newton County Sheriff's Office last week.

Justine Lee Trojanke, 23, of 323 Ridge Road, is charged with passing on solid yellow line, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, interference with government property (county vehicle), reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, obstruction or hindering a law enforcement officer, improper passing, felony with a vehicle, speeding 35 to 44 mph over limit and driving while license suspended.

According to NCSO Public Information Officer Deputy Courtney Morrison, the charges stem from a Dec. 27 incident that began when a deputy was patrolling Ga. Highway 36 in Newton County.

"The deputy observed a Ford Ranger driving erratically, passing vehicles in a no passing zone," Morrison said. "The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop using blue lights and siren, but the vehicle did not stop. The vehicle then turned onto Picket Bridge Road and pulled into the driveway of a residence."

Morrison said the deputy pulled in behind the Ford Ranger, but before he could exit his patrol unit, the Ford Ranger was put in reverse and rammed into the deputy's vehicle.

"As a result, the deputy sustained injuries and had to have six stitches in his ear," Morrison said. "The driver then fled on foot."

The deputy was unable to pursue the subject, Morrison said. However, a further investigation into the incident revealed the identity of the driver and warrants were taken. The NCSO Fugitive Unit was searching for him when he turned himself in on Feb. 1.

In other crime news, a man notified the NCSO on Feb. 3 that he was in his vehicle, following a man who had been stalking his wife and was driving "all over the road."

The complainant told deputies his wife is a waitress at Hooters and the man had followed her home and began driving up and down the street in front of their residence. The husband got in his vehicle and began following the man, who began traveling down Ga. Highway 212 in the direction of Brown Bridge Road.

"A deputy was able to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. Upon stopping the vehicle, the deputy came to the determination that the driver was under the influence of alcohol after he failed numerous field sobriety tests and had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person," Morrison said.

Donald Carl White, 37, of 205 Deep Step Road, was arrested and charged with DUI.

Morrison said no stalking charges were made.

"It wasn't a stalking situation because it wasn't a repeated action towards the victim," she said. "It appeared to be a one-time only occurrence."

Around 10 a.m. Sunday Covington Police Department officers were dispatched to the Wellington Ridge apartment complex after a 2-year-old was reported wandering around the parking lot alone.

A witness told officers she had gotten in her car and the child knocked on her car window. That's when she noticed the child was alone and began looking around for parents, but was unable to locate anyone.

According to a CPD incident report, the witness had provided a sweatshirt and socks for the child who had been wearing pajama pants and a T-shirt and no socks or shoes. The temperature was 37 degrees at the time of the incident.

A second witness showed the CPD officer where the child lived and the child's stepmother was located. She said she and her husband had been searching for the child. She said she had taken her 7-year-old stepson to church and when she returned, she found the apartment door unlocked and the child missing. Her husband was asleep in the bedroom. He told officers that he did not know the child was left in the apartment and did not know when the child left, as he was asleep.

The Newton County Department of Family and Children's Services sent a caseworker to the scene.