Eastman, GA - Car Burglary Call - Suspect Jumps Into Eastman Patrol Car And Fights With A Knife - Steals Patrol Car - Rolls And Totals Patrol Car - Caught Later Stealing Second Car

September 7, 2015


At approximately 11:45 p.m. on Monday, September 7, Eastman Fireman Johnny Howell was working at Eastman Fire Station #1 on 9th Avenue. He heard some loud banging, looked outside and saw a white male trying to break a window out of a car parked at Edwards Body Shop at 5324 Norman Street. Howell called for the police.

When Eastman Police Officer Kale Dunn arrived, he approached the subject to see what was going on.

A minute later, Eastman Police Officer Billy Parker arrived, and he and officer Dunn spoke with the suspect, Michael Tillery, to see what he was doing.

A few minutes later, Eastman Police Officer John Meritt arrived on the scene.

Fireman Johnny Howell came out of the fire station and showed officer Parker where the suspect had allegedly tried to break the windows out of several vehicles. The suspect had allegedly forced the rear window of a 1999 Ford Expedition open and had taken several items out of the vehicle and placed them on the ground.

The suspect then allegedly took a large jack and tried to break out the driver’s side window of a 2005 Chrysler 300 but was unable to do so.

Tillery was standing at officer Parker’s police car’s driver’s side wheel. Officer Parker went to the passenger’s side of the vehicle, opened the door and told Tillery to get into the back seat.
Tillery then made a dash toward officer Dunn’s patrol car. Officer Parker ran after the suspect, but did not reach him before he got into the driver’s seat of the patrol car. Officer Parker reached the patrol car just in time to keep Tillery from closing the door. The two men struggled. Officer Merritt yelled that the suspect had a knife.

Officer Parker gained control of the knife and threw it to the ground. Officer Parker tried to keep Tillery from putting the car into drive, but was unsuccessful.

Tillery hit the gas and sped away, barely avoiding hitting officer Parker and officer Dunn.

The officers then chased after the stolen police car and called for assistance from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department. As the Eastman police were in pursuit, 911 received a call about an overturned police car near Handy Andy on the Cochran Highway.

When officers arrived, the suspect was nowhere to be found.

A short time later, 911 received a call that someone was trying to steal a vehicle at North Lake Apartments on Orphans Cemetery Road. Two sheriff’s deputies and two Eastman policemen responded to that call. Upon arrival, they located the suspect, Michael Tillery. He was placed under arrest.

Tillery has been charged with giving a false name, driving with a suspended license, theft by taking a 2011 Ford Crown Victoria, three counts of aggravated assault, interference with government property, obstruction and escape.

Later, police were called to a residence at 5520 9th Avenue in Eastman, where a burglary had occurred. It was the home of Michael Tillery’s sister. Tillery has also ben charged with burglary in that incident.