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Suspect holding knife to victim's throat asks Covington Police to shoot him

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Columbus man reportedly held a knife to a victim's throat and demanded police shoot him before officers ran down the suspect as he attempted to flee.

Covington Police charged John August Comer, 31, with Aggravated Assault, Battery and Obstruction early Friday, Sept. 10, he led officers on a short foot chase.

No injuries were reported. Spokesman Capt. Ken Malcom of the Covington Police Department said the officers "did an outstanding job of arresting Comer without the victim, or the perpetrator, being injured."

"It was a very tense situation” Malcom said.

An officer reported being dispatched to an apartment complex at Holmes Court and Turner Lake Road Friday, Sept. 10, about 1 a.m. in reference to a report about an assault with a knife, a report stated.

Other officers joined him and they reportedly came upon the 6-foot-3, 230-pound suspect "with a kitchen knife in his hand which was held against" the throat of the victim — who also had called about the incident.

"CPD officers on scene were giving (the suspect) verbal commands to drop the knife and (he) refused to comply and stated, 'Just shoot me,’” a report stated.

One officer already had his department-issued Taser in his hand and told the suspect three times he planned to deploy it on him.

The officer then tried using it twice on the suspect but it failed to connect.

"Once the Taser failed twice (the suspect) then took off on foot around the backside of the residential apartments and came around the front where he then tripped on the wet grass," the report stated.

Two officers then were able to grab the suspect and place him in handcuffs, it stated.

The reporting officer said he searched the suspect and found a bottle containing what appeared to be methamphetamine, two syringes and the knife he allegedly held on the victim.

Officers transported the suspect to Piedmont Newton Hospital where a physician said the suspect was healthy enough to be transported to the Newton County Detention Center, where he was being held without bond Tuesday morning.

The report did not state the relation between Comer and the victim.

In an unrelated incident Saturday in Covington, police investigated a shooting in the Puckett Street area in which occupants of a 2005 Honda Accord said gunfire narrowly missed a backseat passenger after striking the vehicle's rear window.

Officers reported investigating the report about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. They at first believed the Accord was a suspect's vehicle after it took off at a high rate of speed from the area of Puckett Street. 

However, the vehicle stopped at a church parking lot on Georgia Hwy. 36 where occupants flagged down officers, a report stated.

An officer reported finding a round of gunfire had struck the passenger's headrest and became lodged in it.

However, the officer apparently was unsuccessful in finding information about the suspects after "several attempts to speak with the victims were made in an attempt to locate or identify a possible shooter or the location where they were shooting from."

John Comer
John Comer - photo by Courtesy of the Newton County Sheriff's Office