Man indicted for cutting officer with knife

A Muscogee County grand jury indicted a man earlier this week on accusations he cut a Columbus police officer with a knife.

John Howard Garrett Jr., 34, was indicted on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, obstruction of an officer, driving while his license was suspended, no proof of insurance and a tag light violation, reports state.

Police say Garrett pulled a 2-inch knife on Officer Jason Swails, cut the officer and then escaped during an March 10 traffic stop on Oates Avenue, near 40th Street. Garrett turned himself in to police two days later.

Swails testified in Columbus Recorder’s Court that he stopped Garrett’s Oldsmobile Bravada early that day 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.