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Two arrested on multiple charges after fight over officer's taser

COVINGTON, Ga. - Two men are behind bars after a call reporting drug activity led to an altercation with police Tuesday, April 30.

Covington Police Officer Matt Holbrook was dispatched to Turner Lake Road in reference to two males who reportedly "getting in an out of a green truck and smoking 'ice,'" according to the incident report. A black Dodge Challenger was also reported to be parked next to the truck. 

Upon his arrival, Holbrook noticed two men in the Challenger. The first, identified as Dustin Aldridge, 27, of Covington, "saw me and his eyes opened wide and he did not move," Holbrook reported. The second, identified as Christopher Ashby, 37, of Conley, "saw me and looked at me quickly and then looked away then back at me several times."

Holbrook exited his patrol car and approached then men. 

"As soon as I got out of the car, I heard what sounded like a glass pipe hitting the ground near Mr. Ashby," he reported. "In my training and experience, I knew that glass pipes are commonly used with narcotics."

Holbrook reportedly walked around the vehicle and saw a fully-intact glass pipe on the ground with burnt residue consistent with methamphetamine. The officer then attempted to place Ashby in handcuffs and told him he was under arrest. Ashby reportedly continued to disobey Holbrook's orders and attempted to walk away numerous times. 

"The third time he pulled away, I used an armbar by holding his left wrist with my left hand and pushed his upper left arm with my right forearm and took him to the ground," Holbrook reported. 

Holbrook radioed for backup as Ashby reportedly continued to disobey commands. 

"Mr. Ashby continued to try and get up. Once he got to his knees, I stepped back and pulled my taser. Mr. Ashby began to run," Holbrook reported adding that Ashby did not stop running after the taser was deployed the first time, so it was deployed again. Ashby then reportedly dropped to the ground. 

"I went to place Mr. Ashby into handcuffs and he rolled over and grabbed my taser with one hand and struck me with the other hand in the chest," Holbrook reported. "I yelled at him several times to let go of the taser. 

"Mr. Ashby was continuously pulling on my taser trying to take it from my hand."

Because he had a good grip on the taser, Holbrook did not reach for his firearm. 

"While he was pulling on the taser from the front, I used the front of my taser to strike Mr. Ashby in the head and face," Holbrook reported adding that other officers began to arrive and were able to assist in getting Ashby in handcuffs. 

Located on Ashby, Holbrook reported finding money, a bag of pills and methamphetamine. 

During the scuffle with Ashby, Holbrook noticed Aldridge exit the vehicle and move closer to where the pipe had been dropped on the ground. Holbrook noted the pipe had been "busted" when he went to talk to Aldridge. 

While placing Aldridge in the back of a patrol car, Holbrook located a small bag of methamphetamine on the ground. 

Both men were transported to Piedmont Newton Hospital prior to transport to the Newton County Jail, Ashby for injuries related to his arrest and Aldridge for complaints of chest pains. 

Ashby was charged with attempted removal of an officer's weapon, felony obstruction, misdemeanor obstruction, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug-related objects and drugs not in original container. Aldridge was charged with interference with evidence, misdemeanor obstruction and possession of methamphetamine. 

According to the Newton County Jail website, Ashby has been in the local jail 10 other times, the last time being in August of 2017.