Local man found guilty of aggravated assault on police officer

By Valerie Reddell

On Wednesday, a Polk County jury found Garon Bernard Randolph of Livingston guilty of a first degree felony charge of aggravated assault of a public servant in connection with an incident that occurred Nov. 21, 2018.

Garan Rudolph

Randolph faces 15 to 99 years or life in prison. That sentence will be set at a later date by 258th District Court Judge Travis Kitchens once a presentence investigation is complete.

Testimony from Livingston Police Sgt. Darrell Newman showed that Randolph attempted to flee from officers, at one point forcing Newman to draw his weapon and move quickly to avoid being struck by Randolph’s car.

Officers made contact with Randolph after employees at the AT&T store triggered the store’s silent alarm system just after noon Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2018. They told Livingston Police Officers that two men had taken cell phone cases and fled from the store in a gray Ford Mustang.

Responding officers spotted the vehicle while en route to the call and initiated a traffic stop. The driver and passenger spoke briefly to officers in the Burger King parking lot before the driver — later identified as Randolph — reportedly told the passenger that he was not going to jail and drove away.

As the driver accelerated to leave the parking lot, Newman narrowly avoided behind hit by the fleeing vehicle by jumping out of its path. The Mustang struck a Livingston patrol vehicle, causing minor damage. It struck another vehicle on the way out of the parking lot. The occupants of that vehicle included an adult male and a small child in a safety seat.

The passenger remained behind and continued to cooperate with police.

Officers pursued the fleeing Mustang east on West Church, then north on Pine Street and west on Martin Luther King Dr.

The driver failed to negotiate the right turn onto the U.S. 59 access road and crashed into the median.

He then exited the vehicle and fled on foot with Officer Adam Williford pursuing across the northbound lanes of the highway.

Lt. Matt Parrish said Williford attempted to subdue the suspect with a taser and pepper spray and eventually tackled him to the ground.

He continued to fight Williford until other officers arrived to assist.

Sheriff’s deputies placed the suspect — later identified as Garon Benard Randolph, 29, of Livingston — in a county patrol car and transported him from the center median of Hwy. 59 back to the access road.

Randolph was charged with aggravated assault against a public servant; evading arrest or detention with a vehicle; accident involving injury; resisting arrest, search or transport; prohibited substance in a correctional facility; abandon/endanger child criminal negligence; theft of property; accident involving damage to vehicle; no driver’s license when unlicensed; and disorderly conduct.

He has been in custody at the Polk County Jail since May 27 when bonds on several of the above charges were revoked.