Court: Drug dealer accused of dragging officer behind his vehicle

A 36-year-old convicted marijuana dealer was accused of dragging a Columbus police officer behind his vehicle while fleeing arrest during a 2011 traffic stop, according to court testimony.

Walter Lee Ross faced aggravated assault, marijuana with intent to distribute, fleeing or attempting to elude, obstruction of law enforcement, open container, possession of drug related objects and related charges during a Wednesday morning Recorder's Court hearing.

Ross was transferred to the Muscogee County Jail Wednesday after serving time at Limestone Correctional Facility in Harvest, Ala., for a 2010 marijuana with intent to distribute conviction, according to police and court documents.

An officer told the court police attempted to pull over Ross in August of 2011 near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after they noticed the 1999 Nissan Altima's tag lights didn't work.

While following the vehicle, police noticed Ross and his passenger seemed focused on something in the floorboard in the front of the vehicle. Officers later learned Ross had an open bottle of tequila under the driver's seat.

Officer Robbie Yates approached the vehicle after Ross pulled over and immediately noticed the strong odor of marijuana, according to court testimony. When Yates asked Ross to take the vehicle's keys out of the ignition and hand them to him, Ross hesitated and cranked the vehicle back up. With Yates holding on, Ross revved the vehicle forward and attempted to drive off.

"The force was pulling me out of the car and Mr. Ross also pushed me," Yates said. The officer later had to get knee surgery due to his injuries, which caused shoulder strain, contusions and soft tissue damage to his knees and elbows.

Police later found the Nissan Altima abandoned on a nearby street. Inside, they found about 5.6 ounces of marijuana, which was valued at $1,586. They also found digital scales and plastic bags.

Judge Michael Cielinski set Ross' bond at $38,750. His case will be forwarded to the Muscogee County Superior Court.