A man who ran from Ludowici police officers trying to arrest him on an outstanding warrant bit one of those officers, leaving an impression on her forearm, police said.
Police Chief Robert Poppell said Sgt. Phillip Bohannon and Officer Shae Pruitt noticed local resident Julian Smith in the parking lot of the Exxon convenience store at around 1:30 a.m. March 15.
Knowing that Smith had an outstanding felony probation warrant against him, the officers went to the parking lot to investigate, Poppell said. When the officers asked Smith his name, he gave them a false name, claiming to be his older brother, the chief said.
Bohannon then told Smith that he knew who he was and that there was a warrant out on him, Smith fled on foot and the officers pursued him, Poppell said.
As Smith ran, he appeared to reach in his waistband, Poppell said. Because the officers did not know whether he was reaching for a weapon, Bohannon pulled out his Taser and struck Smith in the back, causing him to fall to the ground, the chief said.
Pruitt then attempted to pull Smith’s hands behind his back so she could handcuff him, but he held them under his waist, Poppell said. Bohannon tased Smith a second time, but he still refused to place his hands behind his back. Pruitt continued trying to cuff him and, as she did, Smith bit her, leaving an impression from his teeth on her forearm, the chief said.
Pruitt struck Smith with a defensive blow to free her arm. At this point, she was able to handcuff Smith’s arms behind his back, Poppell said. The officers asked Smith why he ran, and he told them that he was still high from cocaine, the chief said.
Poppell said that an EMS unit was dispatched to the store to treat Smith from where he fell on the asphalt and was scratched during the scuffle. Smith was then taken to the Ludowici Jail, where he was charged with battery on a police officer, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and giving false information to a law enforcement officer.
Poppell said Smith was later transferred to the Long County Sheriff’s Office for his probation warrant. Pruitt also was checked out by EMS and was found not to have suffered a serious injury, so she remained on duty, the chief said
On March 18, Poppell said, officers arrested Jesup resident Joe Posey and charged him with possession of synthetic marijuana during a routine traffic stop. A blood test revealed that he had the controlled substance in his system, Poppell said.
During another traffic stop on March 19, Poppell said, Long County resident Dylan Belcher was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. The chief said that Belcher, too, came back positive for having the drug in his system.
Poppell said that from March 13-20, the police department cited 13 speeders, 10 drivers for having a suspended vehicle registration and three for driving without insurance.