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Stray bullet hits garage on Christmas
Bryan County Sheriff's blotter

From Bryan County Sheriff Department reports:

Drug offenses: This report is from the wee hours of Christmas morning.

"While on patrol (the deputy) observed a brick wall at the entrance to Hendrix Park that had been damaged. (The deputy) had checked the area earlier and the wall was not damaged. On investigation of the damage (the deputy) was able to locate parts of a vehicle which were in the debris."

The report said those parts belonged to a Ford pickup. A check of the area found "a vehicle matching the suspected vehicle" located in a nearby subdivision, backing out of a driveway. It had a "light hanging down on the front passenger side," and other damage that matched what the deputy found at the wall.

"On speaking to the driver, (he) stated that the brick wall had been hit about an hour before. (He) was asked for his driver’s license and he stated that he did not have one."

The deputy ran a check on the man and learned his license was suspended in June 2015. The deputy then arrested the man for driving on a suspended license and failing to report an accident.

"A search of the vehicle was made and on the floor of the front passenger side, in plain view, there was a syringe containing a clear in color liquid." A field test of the liquid showed it was methamphetamine, so the driver also was charged with possession of both the drug and a drug-related object. He was taken to jail. The syringe and its contents were to be further tested by the GBI crime lab, the report said.

Possession of weapon by convicted felon, more: Deputies and EMS workers were sent to an Ellabell address shortly before 11 p.m. Dec. 22 regarding a man "with a shotgun in his mouth contemplating suicide."

The reporting deputy found the man, who said "he was having a really rough time and needed help. When asked about firearms, he stated that he had a shotgun behind the front door which he had just exited and a pistol in his bedroom under his mattress."

The shotgun was loaded with three shells, including one in the chamber. The pistol wasn’t loaded. The man never told authorities he’d put the gun in his mouth but "he insisted he needed help and wished to go voluntarily with EMS," the report said.

The deputy told the man he’d take the guns for safekeeping and he was then "transported by EMS." What’s more, "(the man) was known to be a convicted felon due to previous contact with law enforcement." The man had felony convictions in 1999 and 2006, the report noted.

DUI: Around 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 a deputy got a number of calls about a pickup "unable to maintain its lane and almost striking several other vehicles head on," a report said. Two witnesses followed the pickup, keeping police updated, until the driver of the pickup pulled into the parking lot of the El Cheapo at Highway 144 and Belfast Keller. There, one of the witnesses used his vehicle to block the driver in until the deputy got there.

"Upon my arrival, I made contact with the driver … who stated that he was very tired and on his way to a job site in The Bluff’s subdivision," the report said. "(He) appeared to have trouble standing up and kept attempting to lean on the side of his vehicle. I also noted that his speech was slurred. (The man) stated that he knew that he had crossed the center lines of the roadway at least ‘5 or 7 times,’ and was taking the prescription drug Buprenorphine, which he had in his possession. (The man) also had a juvenile as a passenger in the vehicle with him."

The man was arrested after a field sobriety test. He was taken to jail. His vehicle was released to a Savannah man.

In an additional narrative by the deputy who conducted the field sobriety test, the driver admitted "he only took medication to control his addiction to pain medication."

Threats: Deputies were sent to an Ellabell address shortly before 4 p.m. Dec. 22 to deal with "a female threatened with a knife."

There, they were told by the woman that "her son … grabbed her by the arm and threatened her by stating if she didn’t give him her food stamp card, he would hit her and get a knife."

The woman then said "she did not need (the deputy) to take a report. She was going to handle her son."

Criminal trespass: The owner of a Highway 80 convenience store told a deputy this story on Dec. 23. "(He) advised that he found one of the posts to his store’s front awning had been damaged last night …. (He) and I reviewed the surveillance footage from (the night before)."

Here’s what they saw: "We observed a silver Ford sedan attempt to turn around in the parking lot and strike the aforementioned post at (9:40 p.m.) The sedan was driven by an average sized white female, with blond hair, wearing blue jeans, a pink shirt, and a plaid bath robe. The footage showed the female exit her vehicle and examine the damage."

The deputy couldn’t get a tag number from the video, and the store owner didn’t recognize the car or the woman driving it.

No license: A deputy was patrolling Highway 17 around 9:40 p.m. Dec. 20 when she saw a "vehicle, traveling in the left hand lane, with no taillights, except for what appeared to be a very dim, small light on the left side. The vehicle changed lanes to the right lane. Due to the time of night, (the deputy) activated her emergency lights and immediately the driver pulled over to the right hand shoulder of the road."

The routine traffic stop stuff followed, but the driver gave the deputy a Georgia ID card and a form saying her license had been suspended for DUI. "The driver said that she was on the way to the emergency room because she had bad chicken," the report said.

The woman refused EMS, and ultimately, after one stop along the side of the road because the woman felt sick, she was taken to jail.

Harassing phone calls: An Ellabell woman called BCSD to report "an unknown person has been leaving her text messages accusing her of having an affair with her husband. (The complainant) stated she has told the suspect in a reply text that she is not the person she thinks she is, and please stop texting …. (Complainant) stated the incident started on Dec. 15 and (she) has received 4 or 6 different text sessions and 1 voice mail that has continued until this date," the report said. The woman said she "has continued to tell the person she is not the subject she thinks and please stop contacting her."

Burglary: An Ellabell man reported someone stole one of his outboard boat motors sometime between Dec. 8 and 26. "He stated that he had been in this hospital with his wife who had been in an accident for the vast majority of the time..."

Damage to property: A James Drive man reported Dec. 26 that a bullet went through his garage window sometime Christmas night or the day after.

The deputy saw the bullet fragment, which "appears to be a .30 caliber rifle round." The man said he didn’t hear or see anything and that everyone in the house is OK and luckily the bullet was contained in the garage."

Matter of record: Deputies were sent Dec. 26 to Morgans Bridge Road "for a report of white males (who) jumped a single male and stole a truck, boat and trailer."

The reporting deputy spoke to the victim, who related this story. "(He) stated 3 white male buddies and himself went fishing, after arriving back to Morgans Bridge, the three white males teamed up and pushed (the victim) out of the truck leaving him stranded at Morgans Bridge, driving off with his truck boat and trailer. (The victim) stated he did not know who the men were, their names or anything about them they were just fishing buddies."

The man was told to get information on his pickup and boat and get it to BCSD. He apparently didn’t. "(The victim) failed to contact us with any information that would be helpful in the recovery of his property."

Criminal trespass: From a Dec. 26 report comes this somewhat convoluted tail of something.

"On this date deputies responded to (a Buckhead address) for a damage to property report," the report said. "Upon arrival deputies met with (the complainant). (He) stated that someone was leaving his drive way in a red Dodge truck and ran over their trash can then sped away. Deputies later found a red Dodge truck parked at the El Cheapo after hours."

The plot thickens. "Shortly after (a man) arrived to the Dodge truck with a gas can. (He) stated to deputies his wife was driving the truck with unknown persons and ran out of gas. (He) stated she left the truck at El Cheapo and called her sister for a ride home. (He) told deputies his wife woke him up and told him your truck is out of gas at the El Cheapo and nothing else."

The man reportedly then "asked deputies to search the truck because of a strong odor of marijuana and several open containers of beer inside. Deputies searched the truck and only found open beer cans. (The man) left the truck and the El Cheapo and rode home with his sister. Deputies followed to make contact with (the suspect, apparently the man’s wife.)"

Her story? "(The suspect) stated she left the Juke Box Bar and took a wrong turn. She stated that she tried to get gas at the store but it was closed. She then called her sister to take her and her passengers home. (The suspect) denied driving through Buckhead and stated she had been drinking but did not hit anything."

Deputies told the woman and her husband "we would contact them again if any other damage was reported."

Public disturbance: A Peartree Drive man reported this on the afternoon of Dec. 26: "(He) advised that his neighbor … has been firing a weapon in the area earlier today around (8:30 a.m.). (Complainant) also advised that he contacted the Bryan County Sheriff’s Department in reference to the weapon being discharged, but the deputies were not able to make contact with his neighbor at that time."

The man then told the deputy he was calling again because "his neighbor went down the road and spun out in front of his residence …. (he) stated that this has been an off and on occurrence for the past few weeks."

Deputies again tried to "make contact" with the neighbor, who was described as a renter, but had no luck. They also hung around for a while to see if anything else happened, "but everything was found to be OK …" the report said. The complainant was told to call BCSD if something else happens.

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