The following accounts were taken from reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office:
Man arrested for hitting deputy
A Martinez man was arrested Monday after he attacked a deputy with a guitar.
Prayesh Merai, 26, of Applecross Drive, was charged with aggravated assault and obstruction. He was being held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a $32,700 bond, according to jailers.
A woman called 911 at about 6:20 p.m. Monday and said Merai threatened her with a knife when she refused his sexual advances. Deputies found Merai as he left his apartment. He smelled of alcohol and was slurring his speech. Merai said he didn’t have a knife and allowed deputies to search him. He said he’d been drinking beer and playing his guitar in the apartment breezeway. Merai said he hadn’t argued with anyone and said the cut on his finger was from playing guitar without a pick.
Merai said he’d used a knife while cooking earlier and led deputies to his apartment to show them. Merai asked if deputies could get his guitar from downstairs so he could put it away. When asked what he planned for rest of the evening, Merai got angry and yelled, “Why are you in my house?” He also yelled that the woman was a racist.
A deputy said Merai then walked toward him aggressively, yelling and refusing to put his hands behind his back. The deputy grabbed Merai’s wrist, but he pulled away. Merai then swung the guitar and hit the deputy in the back of the head.
The deputy took Merai to the ground, but he refused to let go of the guitar, tried to grab the deputy’s throat and continued resisting. Merai pulled his wrist away from the deputy, tore his uniform pocket and punched the deputy in the face. The deputy hit Merai in the side of the head with the heel of his hand, but Merai continued grabbing at the deputy’s duty belt near his weapon.
The deputies held Merai down until he calmed enough to flip to his stomach and be handcuffed.
Shoplifter caught sitting on curb
A deputy found Brad Michael Suiter, 18, sitting next to a 24-pack of Bud Light beer on the curb in front of the Evans Walmart at about 12:30 a.m. Suiter, of Appling, provided identification and told the deputy that he was waiting for his father, who was still inside the store. The deputy told Suiter that he needed to reach his father and have him come outside because it was illegal to possess alcohol underage.
When the deputy asked Suiter how he got the beer, Suiter said his father wasn’t inside the store and that he got someone inside to buy it for him. Suiter then admitted to stealing the beer.
Two of Suiter’s friends were in a car nearby.
The deputy said to call them, but both said they stayed in the car while Suiter went into the store.
Store supervisors didn’t want to prosecute, but Suiter was charged with shoplifting. He was released from the Columbia County Detention Center early Monday after posting a $1,600 bond, according to jailers.
Woman got calls from fake investigator
A Grovetown woman called authorities Monday stating she’d gotten calls from a man claiming to be investigating charges against her.
The 47-year-old woman said she’d received about 20 calls since early March about an online loan that was taken out in her name through Check-N-Go.
The woman said she never took out a loan and was in the hospital having surgery the day the loan was supposedly taken out.
A man who identified himself as Investigator James Moore called the woman several times and was evasive about charges against her.
The caller wanted to meet the woman to give her paperwork concerning the case.
When the woman agreed to meet him at the Grovetown Department of Public Safety, the caller hung up.
The woman believes the calls were part of a scam and told the caller several times not to call her again. Deputies tried to call the man’s phone number, but weren’t able to reach him.
Phone scammer uses woman’s credit cards
A Grovetown woman said someone she thought was a computer repairman fraudulently used her credit cards.
A 70-year-old woman said she got a phone call Tuesday from someone claiming to work for Microsoft. The caller asked if she was having computer problems. When the woman said she did have computer trouble, the caller offered to repair the computer issues with an anti-virus subscription to be renewed with a $20 payment over the phone.
The woman provided two credit card numbers to the caller. She later learned that someone amassed a total of $890 of unauthorized charges on the cards only 15 minutes after the call.