COVINGTON, Ga. - After witnessing a van making sharp turns and traveling at approximate speeds exceeding 80 mph, Covington Police Department (CPD) Officer Travis Pierce was led on a chase that resulted in multiple charges, including driving under the influence, for a Covington man.
Around 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 19, Pierce attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Monticello Street after catching up to the speeding vehicle. According to the report, the vehicle came to a brief stop but sped away. Pierce followed the vehicle to an address on Puckett Street.
The driver, later identified as Jessie Henderson, reportedly then exited the vehicle with his hands up. Henderson ignored commands and walked to the residence.
CPD Sgt. Asher Dozier then deployed his taser into Henderson’s back, but, according to the report, “the taser did not have an effect on Henderson.” Pierce then deployed a second taser with no effect. Henderson reportedly continued into the residence and closed the door behind him.
Once additional units arrived on scene, the residence was cleared and Henderson was not inside. According to the report, there was an open window at the far end of the residence it appeared Henderson had exited through the window. Officers searched the area and were unable to locate Henderson at that time.
Inside the vehicle, according to the report, officers located “numerous empty Bud Ice cans in the front area of the van and a half-full one, still cold to the touch, just outside the driver door on the ground.”
Henderson’s father, Newton County Commissioner J.C. Henderson, arrived to the residence and reportedly said his son Jessie had stolen the vehicle from the residence earlier that night. J.C. Henderson told the officer he had contacted Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown around 10 p.m. to report the van stolen, but the report had not been completed at the time of the incident.
Around 12:55 a.m., J.C. Henderson called 911 and said Jessie Henderson was back at the residence but had left and was running down the street, according to the report.
“J.C. Henderson also told me that when Jessie Henderson had returned to the house, he bragged to him that we had tased him and that it didn’t bother him,” Sgt. Dozier reported. “J.C. Henderson believed that Jessie Henderson was drunk and high and that he had gotten some bad crack.”
CPD Officer Matt Holbrook arrived and located Jessie riding a bike down the street. When asked, Jessie Henderson told Holbrook his name was John Henderson.
“Jessie was visibly intoxicated and smelled of an alcoholic beverage,” according to the report.
Pierce positively identified Jessie Henderson and he was arrested and transported to the Newton County Jail. Once at the jail, Jessie Henderson did not consent to the state-administered breath test and was placed into custody.
Jessie Henderson was charged with theft by receiving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer for a felony offense, obstruction of officers, driving while license suspended/revoked, reckless driving , driving under the influence of alcohol, giving false name to law enforcement officer and public drunkenness.
After multiple attempts to reach J.C. Henderson for comment through the Newton County Board of Commissioners office and by phone, The Covington News did not receive a response as of this publishing.