Man Suspected of Using Counterfeit Bills at Waffle House Runs from Officer

According to an incident report, the man paid with two counterfeit $20 bills that had the same serial numbers.

employees called police recently to report a customer had paid using counterfeit bills.

An officer with the  responded to the call about 2 a.m. April 28, 2012. The officer first made contact with the suspect on Center Street and pulled into the driveway at a local business to exit the patrol car. 

The officer asked the suspect, later identified as 47-year-old Johnny Fitzgerald Andrews of 195 Wolfe Lane in Athens, what was going on and the man said nothing. The officer then asked the man to come talk to him, at which time the suspect refused and continued walking past the patrol car. According to an incident report, the officer told the man to stop, but instead the suspect starting running toward the cemetery at the corner of Athens and Church streets.  

The officer pursued in the patrol car until the suspect entered the wood line. A foot chase the ensued for a short distance. 

"The thick brush hampered Mr. Andrew’s escape and he stopped his flight," the officer wrote in the report. "I repeatedly ordered him to the ground. Mr. Andrew failed to comply with my directions and closed the distance between us with his hands around his waistline. After repeated directions were not complied with and still closing on where I was standing I believed Mr. Andrews intended to assault me physically."

The officer then drew the department-issued X26 Taser and fired. Both probes struck the man in the chest but, due to the close proximity, the probe spread was not enough to incapacitate the suspect. 

"Mr. Andrews continued to close on me to the point where he was within my arms reach," the officer wrote. "I was able to force him away with a drive stun technique, which I followed with several front kicks. I was able to gain control of Mr. Andrews with the combination of the drive stun and kicks."

The suspect was then handcuffed and escorted out of the brush before the officer removed the Taser probes from the man's chest and secured them in an evidence bag.

When the officer returned to Waffle House, employees there identified the man in custody as the same who had used two counterfeit $20 bills that has the same serial numbers. 

The suspect was then transported to the , where, when searched, detention center staff found a small piece of foil paper similar to a chewing gum wrapper containing pieces of small white pills that the officer confirmed were Alprazolam.

In addition to the controlled substance, nine more counterfeit $20 bills were recovered and seized as evidence. All nine had the same serial number as the two recovered from Waffle House.

Andrews was charged with obstruction or hindering law enforcement, theft of servce, illegal possession of a controlled substance and forgery in the first degree. 

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