Tifton Gazette


February 17, 2014

Irwin Co. escapee recaptured with help of Tifton PD

TIFTON — Local law enforcement responded to several incidents over the weekend, including catching an escapee from Irwin County.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, officer Rob Scott reported that at approximately 6:11 p.m. Saturday, he went to the area of the Tifton Mall and Virginia Avenue in reference to an escapee from Irwin County. He said he was traveling south on Thunderbird Lane when he observed a male subject walking north from the area of Kmart. The subject fit the description that was given by dispatch — light long-sleeve thermal shirt, blue pajama pants, Georgia boots and dark hair.

Scott reported that he got out with the subject and pointed his gun at him as he ordered him to lay on the ground. The subject got on the ground and was then arrested. The offender was identified as 37-year-old James Robert Tucker. Scott notified dispatch that Tucker was in custody. An Irwin County deputy came to his location and took custody of the offender and transported him back to Irwin County.

In another matter, officer Jason Waite reported Thursday night that he responded to a residence located in the 3400 block of Highway 82 West in reference to a domestic dispute with a person possibly having a cut on the neck.

Waite said upon arrival, he observed a white male holding a towel to his throat. The towel and the subject’s shirt were saturated with blood. He told police that he had been cut. Waite said he then asked the man who had cut him. At that time, another white male, 64-year-old Ivan Anthony Hutchins of Tifton, admitted to cutting the victim.

Hutchins was immediately secured in Waite’s patrol car, and Waite began to render first aid to the victim. Emergency Medical Services then arrived on the scene. Hutchins was transported to the TPD to be interviewed by investigations. The report states he was charged with aggravated battery (domestic violence act).

Also, an Ashburn woman reported Saturday that on Sept. 28, 2013, an unknown Hispanic male punched her 14-year-old son with a closed fist in the mouth. She said her son is autistic, mentally challenged and a psychiatric patient.

She said while at the Waffle House on Highway 41 North, her son had an outburst and kicked a chair. While she was trying to calm him down, a Hispanic male walked over to her son and yelled, “What is wrong with you?” The subject then continued to punch her son in the mouth with a closed fist, causing his bottom lip to split and swell.

The woman reported that the Hispanic male left after assaulting her son. Two Waffle House employees witnessed the assault.

In addition, a 29-year-old woman was arrested Saturday following a vehicle accident. Officer Coleman Nelson reported that he was sent to Commerce Way and First Street. Dispatch advised the occupants of the vehicle were leaving the scene. Another officer arrived on the scene and located the individuals at Fourth Street and Tift Avenue. The subjects were then brought back to the scene of the accident.

Nelson said he made contact with the four individuals. Debra Nicole Cervantes, 29, of Tifton said she was driving the vehicle. She advised that she was driving on Commerce Way and attempted to make a right turn onto First Street when she lost control of the vehicle and struck the light pole at the intersection of Commerce Way and First Street.

When asked why she left the scene, Nelson said Cervantes replied her license was suspended and she didn’t want to get in trouble. He said while speaking to her, he smelled the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her. He also observed that Cervantes’ eyes were bloodshot and watery. She was unsteady on her feet and swaying side to side.

Nelson said Cervantes gave a breath sample into a portable Alco-Sensor where she blew a .189 blood alcohol content. He said she was complaining of pain to her right arm. EMS was notified. While waiting for EMS, he told Cervantes that she was under arrest for suspicion of DUI and immediately read her implied consent, which she agreed to. EMS arrived on the scene and checked on Cervantes. They could not determine the extent of her injury. She wanted to go to the hospital to have X-rays done on her arm.

After being treated at the hospital, Cervantes was transported to the Tift County Jail. She was charged with DUI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to maintain lane.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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Jensen Rainey (left) and Josie Arant will both be participating in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship next week in North Carolina.

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