Colquitt County Sheriff Deputy McKnight and Corporal Cardona responded to a call in reference to a vehicle that went off the road and into a ditch at the intersection of Georgia Highway 37 East and David Newsome Road Monday afternoon.
The vehicle, a white Dodge Minivan, contained two passengers; the driver is a male, James Hargraves, and the passenger is a female, Frankie Harper.
Deputy McKnight approached Hargraves first while he was sitting outside of the vehicle. McKnight observed that Hargraves smelled like alcohol and had blood on his forearm and was bleeding from the mouth area. McKnight advised him to sit on the embankment and wait for further direction.
McKnight then went to the passenger, Frankie Harper. She suffered from a small cut near her nose and had blood on her clothing. Harper said that Hargraves was hitting her before losing control of the vehicle and going into the ditch. She also told officers that Hargraves had been drinking and placed his open container behind the wheel of the vehicle before the officers had arrived.
After recording Ms. Harper's statement, Deputy McKnight then went back to Hargraves, who now had the couple's poodle in his lap and was petting it as Corporal Cardona stood nearby. As Officer McKnight approached Hargraves, Hargraves stood up, threw the poodle at Deputy McKnight and then punched him in the face.
Officers, Cardona and McKnight wrestled Hargraves to the ground and called for additional help. While trying to handcuff Hargraves, Corporal Cardona tased the suspect to get him under control.
Other officers arrived on scene and helped get Hargraves handcuffed and into the patrol car. He was then transported to Colquitt County Jail.
Hargraves is faced with simple battery, failure to maintain lane, D.U.I., and obstruction of officers.
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