COVINGTON — Covington Police officers defused a potentially violent situation this week and arrested a wanted man on charges of drug and gun possession.
Newton County resident Wallace McKibben, 21, was arrested in the parking lot of Walmart on Industrial Boulevard a little after 8 p.m. Wednesday and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Police were initially called to a residence on South Emory Street where McKibben had been earlier to drop off his baby with the baby’s mother. According to the incident report, McKibben and the mother’s boyfriend began to argue. At some point, McKibben allegedly took a gun out of the baby’s bag and started pointing it at the boyfriend and others who were gathered outside the residence.
“Once everyone started running, he ran back to his vehicle and drove off with the gun hanging out the window,” the incident report states.
Capt. Ken Malcom said police began looking for McKibben, who had an outstanding warrant for assault, and located his vehicle traveling toward Industrial Boulevard. Believing he might flee, several police cars surrounded the vehicle as it parked on the side of Walmart.
“Lt. (Wendell) Wagstaff observed three people in the car, two in the front and one in the rear who appeared to hunker down,” the report states.
The two front-seat passengers complied with officers’ request to put their hands up, but McKibben, who was discovered to be in the back seat, reportedly did not and instead appeared to have a gun in his hand.
One of the police officers yelled, “Gun!” and Wagstaff told McKibben again to “put his hands up or he would be shot,” the report states.
McKibben then got out of the car and was arrested.
Wagstaff searched the vehicle where McKibben was seated and found a loaded Cobra .380 caliber handgun on the floorboard and a backpack with McKibben’s Georgia identification card, 11 plastic bags containing green leafy material and a set of digital scales. A plastic bag of green leafy material and a black holster were found on McKibben as well, according to police.
“I don’t think people truly understand just how often officers are faced with potentially deadly force situations like the one these officers were faced with (Wednesday) night,” Malcom said Thursday. “Lt. Wendell Wagstaff and Officer Hayward DeRouen did an outstanding job arresting this armed man without anyone getting hurt. These officers could see as they approached the vehicle they had stopped that a man was crouched down in the back seat of the car with a gun in his hand. Our officers recognized this man as the one involved in the earlier incident. Knowing there were innocent people in the front of the vehicle, these men remained calm and continued to give verbal orders until this man finally dropped his weapon and gave himself up.”