Putnam County, Georgia Sheriff’s Deputies apprehended a man who broke into a residence Tuesday night. He was shot by the homeowner and is now occupying a hospital bed and tying up resources that could be used to help those suffering from COVID-19. Sheriff Howard Sills is fed up with people like this repeat offender taking up resources.
WGXA spoke with Sheriff Sills and reported on the arrest. A homeowner called 911 regarding a man in a tree with a knife making a disturbance. As deputies were en route, a second call came from a neighbor reporting that the arboreal blade-wielding man was trying to break into his house.
Sills said the suspect, Hunter Layne Harrison, used a brick to break into a glass-enclosed porch and screamed to be let into the house. The homeowner responded that he was himself armed and that Harrison should leave.
“He went in and was screaming ‘let me in’ at the French doors,” the sheriff told the Eatonton Messenger.
Harrison used a dumbbell on the porch to smash through the French doors into the house. The homeowner used a .45 pistol to shoot the suspect once, which hit him in the arm. Held at gunpoint, Harrison stayed on the kitchen floor until deputies arrived and took control of the situation.
The deputies sent the homeowner and his family to a bedroom while they attempted to detain the suspect. “Even though he was shot in the arm, he violently fought with deputies as they attempted to arrest him, and in doing so, was splattering blood all over the kitchen,” Sills said.
Harrison tried to escape the house but was surprised when his exit out the backdoor led to his downfall. “But he failed to realize the back deck was being repaired, and so the deck wasn’t there, and he dropped about 8 or 9 feet to the ground, and deputies were able to grab him,” Sills said.
The would-be invader was taken to the hospital for his wounds. The 28-year-old is a repeat offender already on probation for previously violating probation. For the last six years, Harrison has been arrested for burglary, damaging government property, driving on a suspended license, and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer. He now faces charges for home invasion, burglary in the first degree, three counts of felony obstruction, and one count of disorderly conduct.
What’s more, he’s using up resources the Sheriff fears could be needed by more law-abiding citizens.
“These hoodlums make me sick. He’s got a twenty-page rap sheet and he’s over at the hospital, taking up a bed where someone more important, who might have coronavirus, might need it,” Sills told WGXA.
Sills is passionate about mitigating the outbreak of COVID-19. He published a 900-word letter to the community about the subject that is on the Sheriff’s department webpage and their Facebook page. He’s concerned that health care providers will be overwhelmed in the coming weeks. Apparently “hoodlums” should be more considerate about their criminal activities during a national crisis.
“I implore you, I beg you, for the sake of your families, friends, and neighbors, please stay at home,” Sills said in his letter, “and follow the instructions of our medical professionals just as much as humanly possible for the next couple of weeks.”