Man arrested for drugs after running from BPS officer

Published 2:44 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

Friday night, Bainbridge Public Safety Officer Christopher Prindle arrested Justin Thomas, 30, after attempting to conduct a field interview and finding him in possession of ecstasy and marijuana with intent to distribute.

Officer Prindle observed Thomas while he was on patrol on Calhoun Street. Due to several burglaries in the area and the time of night, Prindle attempted to approach Thomas and conduct an interview.

“We didn’t know if he was in any way connected to the burglaries, especially at that hour, so that’s why we make contact and get their name and date of birth,” Prindle said.

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Thomas went out of his way to walk and lurk behind Port One Liquors, but Prindle found him and immediately smelled marijuana coming from him. Prindle asked Thomas why he smelled like marijuana and Thomas told him he had smoked some marijuana approximately three hours earlier. Prindle asked Thomas if he had any marijuana still on him, and Thomas stated he did not. Prindle asked Thomas if he could search him to verify this, and Thomas refused. Prindle then asked again if he had any marijuana on him and Thomas stated he did have a fifth. After Prindle confirmed it was still on him, Thomas changed his story yet again and said he did earlier, but he smoked it all.

Prindle changed the subject and asked Thomas where he was coming from. Thomas originally stated he was coming from his friend’s house, then revised his story and said he was coming from work on Tallahassee Highway. Prindle questioned why Thomas was coming from the “duck pond” to Hutto McGiver Apartments, because it seemed out of the way. Thomas changed his story to say he was leaving work and visiting his brother. Prindle began to confront Thomas about his statement, when Thomas kicked off his shoes and began running toward the intersection of Cemetery and Foundry streets.

As Thomas approached the intersection, he stumbled and Prindle tackled him from behind.

“During my experience and time, I tried to pin down in a grassy area to reduce the amount of injury to myself and the subject,” Prindle said.

BPS Captain Ryan Deen arrived on scene to assist Prindle in securing Thomas. Prindle searched Thomas and found two clear plastic bags that contained marijuana in Thomas’ right sock.

“The baggies containing marijuana already had a certain amount and were made for presale,” Prindle said.

Prindle also found a multi-colored pill, later found to be ecstasy, along with a digital scale and a grinder containing what is believed to be marijuana remnants.

Thomas was arrested for possession with intent to distribute and possession of ecstasy.

“If someone’s willing to sell marijuana, then we can only make the assumption they would be willing to sell ecstasy. However, he stated it was only for personal use and only had one pill on him,” Prindle said.

Thomas was additionally charged with possession of drug related objects, hindering an officer and loitering and prowling.