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Posted: November 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Shots fired at homes, car aimed at deputy

No injuries reported in two separate incidents

 A call for deputy assistance in a local subdivision has yet to lead to arrests but has netted several marijuana plants found growing inside a home.

 Deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Department were called to Lakeside Circle in the Lakeside subdivision off Fairview Road Monday night to answer a call from several residents about shots being fired in the neighborhood.

 When deputies arrived in the neighborhood, they reportedly discovered damage to the rear of two residences as if someone had shot behind the homes. According to reports a few rounds actually struck some of the homes.

 Deputies continued to search around the homes to make sure no one had been hurt and according to 1st Lt. Mark Mitchell with the NCSO, everyone appeared to be fine. Deputies reportedly found a large amount of damage behind one home in particular and, for their safety, they conducted a check of the residence.
 While conducting the check, they allegedly found several marijuana plants being grown in an upstairs bedroom, at which time deputies contacted Newton County’s Special Investigations Unit to take over the investigation.

 According to Lt. Phillip Bradford with SIU, they are currently seeking out individuals to speak with in regards to the investigation. No arrests have been made.

Deputy dodges car
 An erratic driver struck a patrol car and narrowly missed a deputy while trying to elude the Newton County Sheriff’s office early Saturday morning.

 According to reports released by the NCSO, deputies were called to the area of Trotters Walk in reference to a hit and run where a man driving a white SUV reportedly struck several mailboxes and a tree while driving through the neighborhood.

 When deputies arrived, they found a group of people that pointed them in the general direction of the SUV and as the deputies drove in that area they noticed the SUV driving away. A deputy also noticed the SUV allegedly had damage on the driver’s side front fender.

 A deputy activated his emergency equipment but instead of stopping the driver, later identified as 19-year-old Christopher Andrew Lutz, reportedly stopped his vehicle and then began backing up. As Lutz began to back up the deputy pulled his vehicle in front of the SUV in an effort to get Lutz to back into the grass and, hopefully, get stuck. Once Lutz stopped his vehicle the deputy reportedly placed the push bar of his patrol car up against the SUV to keep him from driving away and exited his vehicle. The deputy ordered Lutz out of the SUV but he allegedly ignored the deputy’s commands and was able to back up and drive around the patrol car, nearly striking the deputy but escaping temporarily.

 At another area in the subdivision the shift patrol sergeant was searching for the SUV when he allegedly saw Lutz speeding toward him. Lutz reportedly struck the back of the sergeant’s patrol car in the rear driver’s side area, disabling the vehicle.

 The sergeant then heard Lutz coming back, according to reports, and he quickly exited his patrol car and began to shine his flashlight at the vehicle, ordering Lutz to stop. But instead of stopping Lutz reportedly accelerated toward the patrol unit and the deputy at which point the deputy fired two rounds at the SUV.
 Lutz reportedly sped around the patrol car and the sergeant and headed out of the subdivision and onto Brown Bridge Road and came to a stop as two patrol units attempted to box in the SUV. The deputies exited their patrol units and ordered Lutz out of the vehicle but he allegedly refused to comply and had to be physically removed from the vehicle and placed on the ground.

 Once on the ground, however, Lutz reportedly refused to place his hands behind his back — although he was not fighting with the deputies he simply refused to follow direct instructions, according to reports.
 After telling Lutz repeatedly to place his hands behind his back a deputy was forced to use his Taser on Lutz at which point he began to comply with the deputies demands.

 Lutz was arrested and transported to the Newton County Sheriff’s Department where he remains as of press time, charged with aggravated assault, obstruction of officers, duty upon striking fixture, criminal damage to government property in the first degree, fleeing/attempting to elude a police officer, DUI/alcohol, improper lane usage, failure to stop at stop sign, duty to stop at the scene of an accident, reckless driving, assault/battery and obstructing police/resisting arrest.

 The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol and the NCSO worked together to recreate the crime scene. The NCSOs’ policy states that the GBI be called in any time a deputy fires his service weapon for deadly force.

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