Crime

Man chased woman down Buena Vista Road with golf club — then struck an officer, cop says

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A man wielding a golf club struck a Columbus police officer after a Taser was fired in an attempt to arrest him on Annette Avenue late Sunday.

Lawrence Smith, 59, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, including one against an officer, one count of terroristic threats, obstruction of an officer and disorderly conduct during a Sunday dispute on Annette Avenue. After pleading not guilty to the charges Tuesday in Recorder’s Court, Smith was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail on bonds totaling more than $22,750.

Officer Zachary Cole said police were called around 10:14 p.m. to the 600 block of Annette Avenue on a dispute. Witnesses said Smith had been striking a woman with the club when the officer arrived on the scene.

Cole said Smith disregarded commands to drop the club before he fired a Taser at the suspect. Pulling his pistol, the officer told Smith again to drop the club before he tackled him.

During the struggle with the suspect, Cole said he was struck on his left shoulder, which required an evaluation at the hospital.

Justin Hale, a witness, said the man was yelling at the woman and striking her on the arms with the club. He saw her running down Buena Vista Road.

“He charged at me,” Hale said. “He said he was going to get me.”

Smith was represented by public defender Michael Bodiford but didn’t testify. His attorney said Smith is a military veteran and retired. He requested that Smith get checked by the county physician.

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