Sheriff’s Office makes big arrests

Published 7:44 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

The Sheriff’s Office has charged a Decatur County man with child molestation after the victim reported information to a deputy who gives safety programs in schools, Sheriff Wiley Griffin said Friday.

David Michael Ford, 50, of 688 Bethany Church Road, Brinson, turned himself in on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Decatur County Jail.

David Ford

Sheriff Griffin said the victim in the case is a student at a local middle school where Sgt. Chad Bennett was teaching CHAMPS classes. CHAMPS stands for Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety.

Email newsletter signup

“There are 19 different topics that we teach about through CHAMPS,” Sheriff Griffin said. “One of those is about inappropriate touching and about how students should talk to a trusted adult if it happens to them.”

One of those students spoke to Sgt. Bennett, who then turned the information over to Sheriff’s Office investigators. Ford was arrested as a direct result of that investigation, Griffin said.

“Sgt. Bennett does a really good job with the CHAMPS program in our schools,” Sheriff Griffin said. “He followed up on what the student told him like he should have.”

The CHAMPS program, now supported by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, was originally developed by Sheriff Griffin and former deputy Brent Loeffler. The program is used by schools in numerous Georgia counties.

Florida man charged with kidnapping, beating girlfriend

On Monday, the Sheriff’s Office arrested Wayne Anthony Davis, 42, of Bristol, Fla., after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend almost turned deadly.

Sheriff’s Office Investigator Brian Donalson said Davis later confessed to the crime after he took his girlfriend to Bristol, Fla., and threatened to kill her before she talked him into calling 911.

Wayne Davis

According to Donalson, Davis showed up at his girlfriend’s house, where he sometimes stayed, at about 6 a.m. Monday. The house is in southwestern Decatur County in what is known as the Booster Club community.

Davis showed up at the house and asked the victim to come outside and talk with him. After she came outside, Davis grabbed a baseball bat and began hitting her head, neck and body with it, Donalson said.

The victim screamed for her grown daughter, who was asleep at the time, but she didn’t hear the cries for help.

The victim stated Davis threw her off the back steps of her home and then proceeded to bind her hands with rope and gag her. He then put her in the trunk of his car and poured bleach on her in an effort to get some of the blood off, Donalson said. Davis also poured gasoline on the victim.

Davis then drove to a wooded area in Bristol, Fla., where he works at an automotive repair shop, and took the victim out of the trunk.

“He basically gave her a choice of how he would kill her,” Donalson said.

Facing the prospect of harm, the victim talked Davis into calling 911 and telling authorities he didn’t know her but had found her in the woods. He did so, but after Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies showed up, the victim told them enough to make them suspicious of Davis, who was taken into custody.

Decatur County investigators learned the real story from the victim after she was taken to a North Florida hospital for treatment. She was in the hospital for three days but is now recovering at home, Donalson said.

Davis is currently being held at the Liberty County (Fla.) Jail awaiting extradition to the Decatur County Jail, the investigator said.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Davis was convicted of sexual battery against a child under the age of 16 in Gadsden County, Fla., in 1999. Since he was a sex offender in Florida but was spending a good amount of time in Georgia, Davis was charged with failure to register as a sex offender, Donalson said. Davis also faces charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.