Valdosta police officers bitten, kicked while making arrest

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VALDOSTA — A Lowndes County man was arrested in a Wednesday carjacking incident after police officers were bitten and kicked, a police report stated.

At about 3:15 a.m., someone called 911 and said a man had assaulted him in the 400 block of Jones Street and had stolen his vehicle, the Valdosta Police Department report said.

While speaking to the man, an officer saw the victim’s vehicle in the area and immediately issued a be on the lookout for the vehicle. A police K-9 unit in the area located the car and attempted a traffic stop, the statement said.

The driver would not stop, so police pursued the vehicle until it was wrecked in the 300 block of South Lee Street. The driver fled from the vehicle and officers pursued him. They caught the suspect in the 100 block of South Patterson Street, and he immediately began to resist them, biting one officer on his upper leg and kicking another officer in her mouth, according to the statement.

Several officers and Lowndes County sheriff’s deputies subdued the suspect.

Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and transported the suspect — James Burdette, 26, of Valdosta — to South Georgia Medical Center for treatment for superficial injuries and an evaluation, police said. 

He was later transported to the county jail on charges of felony hijacking a motor vehicle, two felony counts of obstruction of a police officer, three misdemeanor counts of battery, misdemeanor fleeing and attempting to elude and several misdemeanor traffic offenses, the police department statement said.

One officer was treated at SGMC for a bite injury as well as a knee injury that occurred during the physical struggle, police said.

“I am so proud of the dedicated work of our officers, and the assistance of the sheriff’s office. ... Even while injured, our officers still continued to do everything they could to hold the offender and prevent his escape, until other officers arrived to assist them,” Police Chief Leslie Manahan said in a statement.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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