Tifton Gazette


March 27, 2014

Resident charged after scuffle with staff at Grace Manor

TIFTON — A 62-year-old man was arrested Monday for disorderly conduct after causing problems at Grace Manor on North Ridge Avenue.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, officer Terry McStott reported that he arrived on the scene and made contact with someone who informed him that resident 62-year-old Benjie Wade Burdett of Tifton had been causing problems for her staff and other residents over the weekend, and it continued to that morning. She said Burdett cussed at her staff and other residents, as well as urinated in the chairs of the common rooms and defecated several times on the floor.

McStott said he spoke with another staff member who said Burdett had also made the statement that he was going to make the home stink and he didn’t care. He said Burdett entered the room and sat down at a table, looked at him and asked him what was he going to do. He asked Burdett what was the problem, at which time he said, “All these (expletive) cause me trouble.”

McStott said he told Burdett that he didn’t want to hear any profanity from him and asked him to explain how they were causing him trouble. Burdett said they wouldn’t let him have all of his cigarettes that he had paid for. One of the staff members started to talk to Burdett, who then started getting up with his pants unzipped and unfastened. McStott told him to zip up his pants and to fasten them, which Burdett then replied, “They (expletive) don’t zip up and the button is broke.” He then told him to sit down. He radioed E-911 to have an Emergency Medical Services unit en route so they could transport Burdett to Tift Regional Medical Center for a mental evaluation.

Burdett then looked at the two staff members and said, “When I get out of the hospital, I’m going to kill you (expletive).” McStott informed him that he was under arrest and placed his handcuff on Burdett’s right arm. As he was attempting to get a hold of his left arm, Burdett tried to turn away from him. Therefore, he pushed him to the wall and instructed him to give him his left arm, to which he complied. Burdett was then escorted to his patrol car and placed in the back seat.

McStott told dispatch to cancel EMS, because he was transporting him to the Tift County Jail. Upon arrival at the jail, he said Burdett told him that he had urinated in the back seat of his car.

He said as he was walking him to the jail intake area, he noticed some blood on Burdett’s wrist, which was caused by the handcuffs and the condition of his skin due to medication. He also had a slight abrasion to the right cheek, which had occurred when he was placed against the wall during the handcuffing.

Jail intake was denied due to Burdett’s medical and mental condition. EMS transported him to the hospital, and he was treated for minor abrasions to his right wrist and right cheek and was referred for mental evaluation. He was issued a citation, to which he refused to sign and release to medical personnel for treatment and transportation to a mental facility.

In another matter, officer Freddy Amaya reported Tuesday that he was sent to the Anchor Lounge on Commerce Way in reference to a domestic dispute involving two females being assaulted by a male. He arrived on the scene and made contact with the two victims — an Anchor Lounge employee and the owner.

He said he observed that both women had substantial bodily injuries to their neck, chin and chest. The employee reported that she was working with the owner to close up the bar when the owner’s boyfriend, 37-year-old Exal Trujillo of Omega, arrived to argue about his car keys.

She said she was behind the bar and the owner was sitting at the bar. She said Trujillo accused her and the owner of taking away his car keys and concealing them. He continued arguing and then pushed the owner off of the bar stool and began assaulting her. He slammed her to the ground and grabbed her by the neck, choking her.

The employee said the owner pulled out her cell phone as she was being assaulted and told her to call 911. She said when she went to retrieve the phone, Trujillo then turned his attention to her. He cornered her up against the bar and slapped the phone away from her hands. He then punched her in the chest and began choking her against the bar and wall.

The employee reported that the owner intervened as she jumped over the bar. She said after the assault, Trujillo left and she called 911. Amaya said her injuries consisted of several scratches and abrasions around her neck, chest and chin. She had substantial swelling and redness on her chest and neck. At the scene, there were several bar stools that were scattered and knocked on the ground.

Amaya reported that when he spoke with the owner, she was being uncooperative and would only give a vague account of the incident. She told him that Trujillo was outside trying to get his vehicle started in the front parking lot. Her injuries consisted of several scratches around her arms, hands, neck, face, chin and chest. Some of her fingernails on her right hand were broken and she had substantial swelling and redness on her neck and chest.

Amaya reported that both women’s statements collaborated and their injuries were consistent with Trujillo choking them. He made contact with the offender who said he didn’t do anything, nor did he assault the women. He was then arrested.

Amaya said Trujillo was intoxicated. He noticed that he had glassy and bloodshot eyes and his breath and person were emitting an odor associated with an alcoholic beverage. The offender was transported to the jail and charged with battery, as well as family violence battery.

Also, a Tift County High School student was arrested Monday for second degree burglary (entering auto). Officer Daniel Ray reported that an employee from the school informed him that he put his 10-inch Apple iPad in a female student’s car. He said he wanted to see if somebody would enter the vehicle and take the device.

Ray said the employee had spoken to him the week before about a theft that occurred inside the same student’s car, where a watch was taken. The employee said he decided to place the iPad, wrapped in a blanket in the front passenger’s seat of the vehicle. The car was left unlocked. Ray and the employee then went into the stairway of the Performing Arts Center and stood by watching the vehicle for any suspicious activity.

Sometime later, he observed student Ali D’mond Vaughn, 19, exit the school building. He walked by two police officers who were coming into the school for a meeting. He then began looking behind him as he walked to the rear of the parking lot to see if the officers went into the building.

Ray said he observed Vaughn walk by the female student’s vehicle and open the passenger side door and began looking around in the compartment of the vehicle. Vaughn then closed the car door and attempted to walk to his vehicle.

Ray ran to him and as he approached him, Vaughn raised his hands in the air with the iPad in his right hand. He then dropped the device, at which time Ray grabbed his left hand/arm and attempted to place him under arrest. Vaughn began to try and pull away and turn around. He was placed on the hood of his vehicle by Ray and was restrained.

Vaughn was arrested and transported to the Tift County Jail. He was also charged with obstruction of an officer.

In other unrelated cases:

• A woman reported Wednesday that a man outside of her residence on Perdue Road had threatened to shoot a male she lives with. She said the subject had a firearm in his possession. A deputy arrived on the scene and told the man to drop his firearm, to which he complied and put his hands in the air. The report states that 21-year-old Johnathan Ray Kelley of Tifton was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

• A Sixth Street Academy student was arrested Tuesday for battery on a school official. The report states that a teacher was standing in the parking lot overseeing bus and car pickups. While speaking to another adult, she felt something hard strike her in the back of the head really hard. She said she heard the impact, as well as the adult she was talking to. The person informed her that a student had hit her with a rock. The student was escorted to the office. He was later transported to the TPD for battery on a school official. The Department of Juvenile Justice was notified and advised for the student to be released to his mother. The teacher received a small lump on the back of her head from the rock pebble.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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