DCSO arrests four after convenience store scuffle

Published 3:37 pm Friday, May 15, 2020

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Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Justin Kelly was working a case at Bishop’s Travel Center on Thursday when he apprehended two wanted men. Both men then fought Kelly, resulting in injury.

Kelly was called to Bishop’s Travel Center on Wednesday morning following a call from Kerry Mulford.

Mulford alleged that owner, Tejal Patel shot a gun outside the store and claimed Mulford was trespassed from returning. Kelly spoke to Patel, who confirmed she did shoot the gun after Mulford spit on her car and called her several discriminatory names and refused to leave.

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Kelly retrieved the bullet from the ice machine and arrested Patel for reckless conduct, before arresting Mulford for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

The following day, Kelly returned to Bishop’s Travel Center to view the footage from the incident, when he encountered Patel’s husband, who said someone was causing a disturbance outside.

Kelly then found Abraham Harrison outside. Kelly knew Harrison was trespassed from Bishop’s from a previous entering auto case he worked. In addition to that, warrants had been taken out on Harrison from Wednesday night, when he also caused a disturbance at Bishop’s.

Kelly approached Harrison to tell him he is under arrest, but Harrison pulled away and refused to comply, claiming he was not going to jail.

Kelly then said Harrison took a fighting stance, while backing away and running down the highway. Kelly chased Harrison into the median, while radioing for backup.

Once in the median, Harrison took a fighting stance again and Kelly was forced to tase him. However, Harrison still was resisting arrest and not allowing Kelly to get both handcuffs on him.

Kelly wrestled Harrison for approximately 10 minutes, where Harrison threatened to bite him, claiming he had COVID-19. While Kelly was fighting him, the store owner yelled that Harrison was reaching for Kelly’s gun.

Kelly yelled out for help to several bystanders, who told him they didn’t want to be involved. As Kelly continued to fight, a truck stopped in the road and asked if Kelly needed help.

Kelly asked for the driver’s help holding down Harrison’s hand, while he placed him in handcuffs. The driver did as he was told and Harrison was apprehended.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that by myself,” Kelly said. “I was just trying to make sure he didn’t get his other arm out, because if he had it would’ve been bad for everyone.”

Kelly was not able to thank the driver who stopped, but wants the do-gooder to know he greatly appreciates his assistance.

Following the arrest of Harrison, Kelly and his investigative partner, Adam Mobley were about to leave when they saw a wanted subject, James E. Butler, walking through the parking lot of Bishop’s.

Kelly and Mobley drove over to speak to Butler when he took off running into the woods.

Luckily, Georgia State Patrol was still on scene and assisted Kelly and Mobley. They chased down Butler and jumped out on him before tasing him.

Once tased, Mobley and Kelly believed Butler to be compliant in the arrest, however he began resisting, which ensued in a struggle.

During the struggle, Butler kept reaching for his waistband and telling Kelly and Mobley he had something in his waistband.

Both investigators believed Butler was referring to a gun, however Butler only had a large bag of spice located in his waistband.

He was eventually handcuffed and arrested.

During the struggle, Mobley and Kelly were injured. Mobley broke his hand and Kelly suffered a knee injury.

They are extremely thankful to all agencies and the bystander who helped them during the struggle, because without their help, the struggle may have ended in far worse injuries.