Man ordered held without bond in assault on officer

The man accused of cutting a police officer on the hand with a knife was ordered held without bond Thursday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

John Howard Garrett, 34, faces charges including aggravated assault on a police officer. Police say he pulled a 2-inch knife on Officer Jason Swails, cut the officer and then escaped during an early Saturday traffic stop on Oates Avenue, near 40th Street. Garrett turned himself in to police two days later.

Garrett appeared before Senior Judge Michael Cielinski on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty to all his charges.

Swails testified that he pulled over Garrett’s Oldsmobile Bravada about 2:45 a.m. Saturday because its license plate was obscured. He checked the tag and discovered it was reported stolen.

Swails said Garrett and a passenger got out of the Bravada. Swails didn’t want them out of the car, noting that the passenger was larger than him and disobeying his commands.

Police said the passenger walked toward a nearby house after getting out of the vehicle.

Swails then tried to put Garrett into custody for officer safety, testified Detective Patrick Knight.

“At that time, he told me I was not going to put no damn hands on him,” Swails said.

Swails grabbed Garrett on his left wrist, and Garrett pulled out a knife with his right hand. Swails then started backing away, swatting at Garrett’s hands. The officer testified he was cut in the process.

Garrett then ran from the scene. Swails pulled his gun and pointed it at Garrett but did not fire. He then began chasing Garrett, stopping when the suspect put too much distance between them, the officer said.

Swails was treated at the hospital for an inch-long puncture wound and released, police said.