A man who was darting into traffic led Bulloch County sheriff's deputies on a short chase before fighting arrest Sunday, according to sheriff's incident reports.
Joseph Mark Johns, 44, of Doe Run in Sylvania, was charged with aggravated assault against a peace officer after he reportedly kneed a deputy in the groin during the pursuit.
Sunday afternoon, deputies were called to Highway 301 North near Randy Lowery Road in response to reports of a man who was running into traffic. Bulloch County sheriff's Deputy Raymond Michael Waters saw Johns "making very exaggerated movements" and, because of his experience in dealing with people under the influence of drugs, said in reports that Johns appeared to be "high on methamphetamines."
As Waters pulled off the roadway, Johns darted in front of his patrol car, causing Waters to call out a warning for him to get out of the way. Then Johns went to the back of the patrol car and was still acting in a "very erratic manner," Waters said.
Johns was not wearing a shirt, and as Waters approached him, he noticed Johns had a large knife tucked into his waistband. Due to the weapon and Johns' behavior, Waters pulled his Taster and ordered Johns not to touch the knife.
According to reports, Johns then grabbed the knife, pulling it quickly and saying, "This knife?" That's when Waters deployed the Taser, but the darts were too far away to attach correctly, and Johns fled.
He ran into a peanut field while Waters called for backup, and deputies formed a perimeter around the area, seeking Johns' location. He was seen running into the woods and hitting trees with a large stick, reports stated.
Col. Mark Guarino and his K9 partner, Gismo, arrived and joined the chase. Within a short time of Gismo being deployed, Johns was taken into custody.
He refused to walk, so deputies had to partially carry him out of the woods, Waters said in reports. Johns had to be dragged into a patrol car, and deputies found several drug-related items on his person, according to reports.
During the chase, Johns injured a deputy by kneeing him in the groin. The suspect was treated by Bulloch County EMS for Taser wounds and a dog bite before being taken to the Bulloch County Jail.
Once there, he continued to struggle, forcing deputies to drag him from the patrol car, and he managed to get his cuffed hands in front of him. Deputies saw him attempt to place what appeared to be a small metal knife blade in his mouth before he was taken inside, reports stated.
Johns remains in jail, with possible further charges pending, as he awaits court hearings.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.