Tifton Gazette


February 19, 2014

Man seeks safety after shakedown

TIFTON — Simple assault, an attempt at shoplifting and driving under the influence were among several incidents that were reported this week to local law enforcement.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, officer Coleman Nelson reported Monday night that he was sent to a local convenience store in reference to a subject asking the clerk to call 911 as he left the store. Upon arrival, he made contact with the clerk who said a white male, 150 pounds and 5’7” in height, came into the store and asked her to call 911 as he left.

She said the subject walked over to the ATM and acted like he was trying to take money out but didn’t use it. Nelson said he checked the area but could not locate the subject.

About two hours later, Nelson reported that he was sent to another convenience store on Highway 82 West in reference to a subject that asked the clerk to call 911. Upon arrival, he made contact with the subject who said he was in fear for his safety and requested to be taken to detox for alcohol.

Nelson asked the subject why he was in fear for his safety. The man replied that he was dropped off in Tifton and went to a location to have relations with a prostitute. He said he paid $70 for the prostitute, and when he was done, a black male demanded an extra $30. He told the male that he would have to go to the ATM to get more cash. The male drove him to a convenience store on West Seventh Street.

The subject said he told the male that he could not get money off of the machine at that store, so he drove him to another location. He told the male again that he could not get any money out of the machine. He said the male told him that he would kill him if he didn’t get him his money. He then walked to the convenience store on Highway 82 West, fearing the male would find him again. The subject was escorted to Tift Regional Medical Center to voluntarily check himself into detox.

In another matter, officer Jason Waite reported Monday that he responded to Walmart in reference to a shoplifting incident that had occurred last Thursday afternoon. The complainant reported that he observed a black male with a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm and wearing a black polo shirt, jeans and tan work boots push a buggy containing a LED television, DVD player and stand mixer past the final point of sale without attempting to pay. The subject then pushed the buggy out of the first set of double doors.

The complainant said he approached the subject and said that he was with loss prevention and needed to speak with him about the items in the buggy. He said the subject pushed the buggy toward him and said, “You got your TV. I’m gone.” The subject then began to run north across the parking lot toward Highway 82. The complainant said he lost sight of the offender as he crossed the parking lot.

He was able to retain all merchandise, as well as video surveillance and still images of the incident for future prosecution.

Also, a man was arrested Tuesday after running a stop sign. Officer Jared Godwin reported that while on patrol on Third Street near Park Avenue, he observed a black Nissan Maxima run the stop sign and pull out in front of him. The vehicle then crossed the center line and veered back into his lane, traveling east on Third Street.

Godwin initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and met with the driver who was identified as Deraven Demarcus Hurley, 23, of Tifton. He told the subject why he had been stopped and asked for his driver’s license, which he replied that all he had was an ID card.

Godwin said while speaking with Hurley, he could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. When asked how much he had to drink, Hurley said one beer and a cup of liquor. Godwin then got the passenger’s ID card who was identified as Grady Lee Riggins, 25, of Tifton. Riggins said he had been drinking a little earlier.

Godwin asked Hurley to step out of the vehicle. He said Hurley was unsteady on his feet. His eyes were also extremely bloodshot and his speech was slurred. After being patted down for weapons, Hurley consented to doing some field sobriety tests. Godwin said Hurley admitted that he knew he was over the limit but he would do the test. He then asked Hurley if he felt that he would have been a safer driver had he not been drinking and he said that he would. He said before he started the test, he asked Hurley had he been smoking marijuana and he said yes.

After having difficulty doing the field sobriety tests, Hurley then was asked to blow into the Alco-Sensor, which he registered a .126. He was then placed under arrest for DUI. When searching the vehicle, a cold open can of Bud Light was found under Riggins’ seat. He was also placed under arrest for the open container. He was charged with a safety restraint violation as well. An open Bud Light bottle was found under the driver’s seat also. Both offenders were taken to the Tift County Jail.

Hurley was also charged with a probation violation, driving with a suspended or revoked license, an open container violation, failure to maintain lane, a safety restraint violation and failure to stop at sign.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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