A man accused of riding on a car hood from the Columbus Airport to a nearby convenience store tried to grab a police officer's gun from its holster as he struggled during his arrest, authorities testified Friday in Recorder's Court.
Joshua Thomas Emplit, 22, pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony count of attempted removal of an officer's weapon and guilty to a misdemeanor count of obstruction of an officer. Police say Emplit rode on top of a silver Kia Wednesday night to the Circle K at 3841 Miller Road, where he refused to answer Officer Charles Hickman's questions and ultimately tried to grab his gun.
"I think I was slipped some type of drug," Emplit said Friday. "I was seeing things. It was crazy."
Hickman said a City Cab driver drove to the airport about 11:50 p.m. to pick up Emplit.
"When he got there, Mr. Emplit cursed at him," Hickman said.
Emplit then ran from the airport to a nearby silver Kia. He jumped on its hood, and two women inside the car began screaming, the officer said.
Hickman said the cab driver thought Emplit intended to carjack the women, so he followed the car as it left the area, with Emplit on its hood.
The Kia ended up at the Circle K about a mile away, where Emplit hopped off the hood and entered the store, Hickman said. Moments later, the officer arrived. Hickman said he tried to talk with Emplit, but he wouldn't reply, so the officer called for backup.
"He refused to answer any questions," Hickman said. "He told me to call the real police."
Police backup arrived, and Hickman tried to arrest Emplit. That's when he tried to grab Hickman's gun from its holster, the officer testified.
Senior Judge Michael Cielinski found probable cause to bind the case over to Muscogee County Superior Court. He ordered Emplit held on $6,000 in bond.
"I'd like to apologize to the officer for any way I might have acted that day," Emplit said. "I'm really sorry."