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Deputies arrest two after brief melee, foot chase

Deputies with the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Laurens County residents Thursday morning after a deputy’s attempt to help the two, who were stranded on U.S. Hwy. 280 West with a broken-down vehicle, turned violent.

At approximately 6:40 a.m., Deputy Malinda Bair responded to a call to assist a motorist who needed help jump-starting a vehicle. Crisp County Communications E-911 operators indicated both occupants, 26-year-old Caleb James and 42-year-old Jennifer Kelly Riley, had outstanding warrants. Riley originally identified herself to Deputy Bair as Kristi Riley, who — while not involved in Thursday’s incident — is wanted on a bench warrant for failure to appear.

James is wanted for violating the terms of his parole and Riley is wanted for violating the terms of her probation.

A brief physical altercation ensued when Deputy Bair attempted to place James under arrest. He then fled into a field in the vicinity of Georgia Veterans State Park on U.S. Hwy. 280 West.

Shortly thereafter, deputies deployed a K-9 unit to track James, who then tried to run again from deputies. After a brief foot chase, James was placed under arrest at around 8:10 a.m. and transported to the Crisp County Detention Center. James faces felony obstruction charges and Riley is charged with giving a false name to officers.

“I would like to thank the men and women of this agency, Georgia State Patrol Post 30, Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Division, Laurens County Sheriff Dean, and Laurens County Parole for their assistance this morning,” Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said in a press release.