Winder Police were dispatched to Aaron’s Rental on Monroe Highway in response to a report of a man swinging knives in the parking lot and causing a disturbance.
Two employees of the store said they were talking outside of the business when Richard Otis Gaddis, 54, of Bethlehem, approached them and began using profane language and racial slurs. Gaddis reportedly began walking towards one of the employees and pulled out a chain with knives affixed to it. The employee said Gaddis continued to curse and yell while waving the knife laden chain through the air. The employee further advised that Gaddis’ actions were causing a disruption to his business and scaring customers.
The responding officers spotted Gaddis in the parking lot yelling and trying to wave down passing vehicles. When the officers approached, Gaddis began cursing at one of the men and threatened to harm him.
The officers ordered Gaddis to slowly remove any weapons from his person and place them on the ground. Gaddis removed his belt, which had a knife attached, and placed it on the ground. He then removed a chain with three knives attached and threw it to the ground.
The officers handcuffed Gaddis and began to search him for additional weapons. As Gaddis was being searched, he kicked one of the officers. The other officer then “placed him on the hood” of his patrol vehicle.
The officer held Gaddis’ head down and continued to search him for weapons. During the search, Gaddis kicked the officer numerous times and spat tobacco juice on the hood of the patrol car. After securing Gaddis in the backseat of the patrol car, the officer noticed a dent in the hood of his patrol vehicle which he wrote was “caused when I placed Mr. Gaddis on the hood of my vehicle.”
Gaddis was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
Wanted woman blocks fire station exit
A Winder woman ended up in jail after failing to notice signs and road markings warning vehicles not to block the exit to the Winder Fire Department.
An officer witnessed Traci Hamilton Echols, 32, of 434 Raymond Drive in Winder, stop inside the clearly painted box emblazoned with the words “Do Not Block.” The officer conducted a traffic stop and, in the process of checking the Echols’ license, discovered an outstanding warrant out of Walton County.
Echols was transported to the Walton County line and turned over to a Walton County deputy. Echols was also issued a citation for failure to obey a traffic control device.
Man arrested for DUI, child endangerment
A Winder man was arrested after smoking marijuana and then taking a seven-year-old and three-year-old for a drive.
Jason Barry Wehunt, 17, of 849 Laurel Lane was traveling on Hwy. 81 when a deputy noticed Wehunt was driving in rainy conditions without headlights. As the vehicle passed the deputy’s location, the deputy also noticed the children in the backseat did not appear to be properly restrained.
After stopping Wehunt, the deputy approached the vehicle and noticed an odor of marijuana. The deputy noted that Wehunt’s eyes were watery and bloodshot. As Wehunt fumbled for his driver’s license, the deputy noticed that the three-year-old was not in a child safety seat.
The deputy asked Wehunt if he had smoked any marijuana recently. Wehunt admitted smoking pot earlier in the day. The deputy asked Wehunt to exit the vehicle.
After noticing that Wehunt was unsteady on his feet, the deputy asked if Wehunt would undergo field sobriety testing. Wehunt agreed, but said he was very nervous.
Based on the results of the field sobriety tests, the deputy arrested Wehunt for driving under the influence of drugs. During a search incident to arrest, the deputy found two blunt wrappers and a small bag of marijuana in Wehunt’s pocket. Wehunt said he thought he had smoked all of the marijuana and forgot he had any left. The deputy also found a pack of rolling papers in a cigarette pack.
The juveniles were released to their father and the vehicle was released to Wehunt’s father.
Wehunt was transported to the detention center and asked to provide a urine sample for the state administered chemical test. The deputy handed Wehunt a specimen cup and asked him to fill it. After a few minutes, Wehunt turned to the deputy, handed him the empty cup and said "Forget this I can't go and don't care. Here take it." When informed that he would be charged with a refusal to take the state administered test, Wehunt shrugged and said, “Okay. And?”
Wehunt was charged with DUI drugs, two counts of DUI child endangerment, child safety seat violation, failure to use headlights when required and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Student arrested for disrupting school
An Alternative School student was arrested after cursing and hurling a chair during an altercation with another student.
Avery Lay, 19, of Bethlehem, was eating lunch when he called a female student several derogatory names. He then asked another student if he could borrow a dollar. The student refused saying she would not give him any money after what he had just said about the other female.
A short time later, one of the females confronted Lay. Lay became angry and threw his chair against the wall and began yelling at the juvenile. An assistant principal heard the commotion and ushered Lay into the office. Once in the office, Lay continued cursing and did so in front of a parent visiting the school.
Lay was arrested for disruption of a public school and was issued an order not to return to the Alternative School.