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Report: Man with loaded gun wrestled to the ground

Report: Man with loaded gun wrestled to the ground

Report: Man with loaded gun wrestled to the ground

John Trivonne D. Howard


Bulloch County sheriff's deputies recovered a loaded, stolen handgun Wednesday when they stopped a couple of men they deemed suspicious.

When the men fled, deputies wrestled one to the ground and he later admitted being in the area to buy cocaine for resale, reports state.

Michael Everett Slater, 22, of Williams Road in Pembroke, and John Trivonne D. Howard, 25, of Ash Branch Church Road in Brooklet, were both taken into custody on several charges after fleeing from Bulloch County S.T.E.P. (Sheriff's Targeted Enforcement Patrol) Deputy Mark Guarino and Sgt. Jason Kearney, according to reports.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Kearney and Guarino were patrolling the area of Pine Street near Spruce Street because of drug complaints, Guarino wrote in his report. They spotted Slater and Howard near a parked car on a "dirt lot known to be a local hangout and area of concern," he said.

The deputies stopped to talk to the men, but one began walking away. He returned when they called out to him, but "supplied a bogus name" and was "observed to be breathing rapidly, perspiring and shuffling his feet," Guarino said.

The second man was cooperative, but within a few minutes both decided to run, according to Guarino, who grabbed Slater before he could flee. Kearney pursued Howard, but abandoned the chase to aid Guarino, who wrestled Slater to the ground. When Slater continued to struggle, Kearney deployed a Taser, subduing him, Guarino said.

Then, the deputies noticed a handgun in Slater's waistband. Guarino handcuffed Slater and retrieved the gun, which he described in reports as a Taurus Judge.

"The pistol is manufactured to be loaded with either .45-caliber rounds or .410 shotgun shells," he said. "In this case it was loaded with .410 buckshot."

Statesboro police officers responding to assist Kearney and Guarino found Howard nearby and took him into custody while the deputies checked and learned the handgun had been stolen in an entering auto case in August, reports state.

"Slater advised that he was in the area
hoping to purchase narcotics (cocaine) for the purpose of reselling the narcotics for a profit, as he was not currently working," Guarino stated in reports. "He also admitted to taking part in the entering auto (incident) when the pistol was stolen and knew the victim."

After the men were taken into custody, Kearney spoke with area residents who were pleased with the arrests.

"All seemed joyful at the arrests ... especially after being shown the pistol," Guarino wrote. "Several of the residents expressed their concern for the safety of their neighborhood and advised of this sort of crime being an all too common occurrence."

Slater was charged with pedestrian under the influence, obstruction, criminal attempt to purchase cocaine, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, carrying a concealed weapon, entering auto and theft by taking firearm, reports state.

He remains in the Bulloch County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

Howard was charged with obstruction, pedestrian under the influence and giving false information. He was later released from the Bulloch County Jail on a $6,000 bond, according to jail records.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

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