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Covington panhandler arrested for meth
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A man panhandling in a gas station parking lot was arrested for possession of methamphetamine late Friday evening.

Officers from the Covington Police Department were flagged down by a citizen who told them that a man, later identified as Jim Tom Dorrough, was in the parking lot of the Big EZ gas station on Washington Street and Flat Shoals Road begging for money.

When officers arrived at the gas station they found a man matching the citizen's description of Dorrough at one of the gas pumps. When asked what he was doing, he reportedly told them he was waiting for his friends who had just gone inside the store.

According to reports Dorrough was "very jumpy and unable to stop moving" which caused the officers to suspect he might be under the influence of narcotics. When he was told that officers had received complaints of him asking everyone in the parking lot for money, he denied it was him and reportedly told them the person who had been doing that was inside of the store.

While speaking with the 39-year-old, officers asked if he had weapons on him and he said he did not. But just prior to being searched he allegedly told officers that he had a knife in his pocket. Officers retrieved a large knife from one pocket and continued the pat down on Dorrough. During the search officers also found a plastic bag containing change, cigarettes and what appeared to be two gum wrappers balled up inside the plastic bag.

"These two wrappers stood out to me and raised my suspicion that Dorrough was under the influence of a drug," according to reports. "...From my knowledge, training and experience drugs were often found to be wrapped inside these wrappers. As I began to unfold one wrapper Dorrough took off running."

The officers pursued Dorrough into the parking lot of the old Mosely Electric building. At one point he became stuck behind a pole and the officer used his Taser to subdue the fleeing man. After getting Dorrough cuffed and into a patrol car the officers were able to search him more thoroughly and discovered a syringe in his pocket.

When they looked at the items wrapped in foil that Dorrough had inside the plastic bag it was found that two appeared to contain methamphetamine and the other contained a white pill.

Dorrough was transported to the Newton County Detention Center where he was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II drug and obstruction.