The Putnam Examiner

Sheriff’s Actions Led to Arrest in Tornado Aftermath

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The actions of Putnam County Sheriff Robert Langley helped lead to the arrest of an Oklahoma man that now faces a slew of charges, including assaulting the top law enforcement officer in the county.

Brant Carter, of Stilwell, OK. is facing assault in the 2nd degree, a felony offense, reckless endangerment in the 2nd degree, resisting arrest, DWI, obstruction of governmental administration in the 2nd degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, trespassing, unlawful possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, failure to obey a police officer, and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway, according to sheriff ’s captain Lisa Ortolano.

On May 15, the day the county was hit with two minor tornadoes, an unknown vehicle was driving on Langley’s property, the sheriff ’s office stated in a press release.

When Langley went outside to investigate and speak with the driver, Carter, 33, appeared to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and pulled away in a reckless manner at a high rate of speed, according to the sheriff ’s office.

Langley jumped into his police vehicle and followed Carter to Route 9 and Cross Road in Garrison where Carter pulled over. Langley approached the vehicle and identified himself as the sheriff to Carter, at which time Langley detected the odor of alcohol on Carter’s breath, as well as the smell of marijuana, the sheriff ’s office stated.

Langley ordered Carter to shut off his vehicle multiple times, but Carter instead reached for the gearshift and sped off almost striking Langley, who had to jump out of the way, according to authorities.

Although Carter tried to evade Langley’s pursuit, Carter was boxed in due to stopped traffic as a result of the afternoon storm that hit the county at the intersection of 403 and Route 9 at Appalachian Market. Carter exited the vehicle and was ordered to get on the ground by Langley, but instead he tried to flee on foot. Langley was able to chase Carter down and after a brief struggle, neutralized the suspect. Langley suffered lacerations to his hands during the encounter, Ortolano told The Putnam Examiner.

Carter failed sobriety tests and several open containers of alcohol, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia was recovered from his vehicle, authorities stated. He also did not have identification and had to be identified through fingerprints at the sheriff ’s substation in Nelsonville.

When reached for comment, Carter’s attorney, Ed McCormack, said he and his client “respectfully disagree with some of the points” in the press release issued by the sheriff’s office, but didn’t want to elaborate at this time.

He called the incident under “unique circumstances” because it was the day of the storm and a tree was down on Route 9, forcing Carter to turn around in Langley’s driveway. He said Carter didn’t intentionally pull into Langley’s driveway to interact with the sheriff or anyone in his family.

McCormack said he was awaiting open file discovery from the district attorney’s office before Carter’s next court appearance. McCormack actually knows the Langley family when they were all part of the Garrison Fire Department. (McCormack lived in Garrison for 18 years.)

“We’re very optimistic for a resolution to his matter, it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else,” McCormack said. “The defendant was very apologetic.”

McCormack claims Carter and Langley saw each other days after the arrest and gave each other an acknowledging nod.

“I’m hoping that it gets friendly and it gets resolved without too much ado,” McCormack said.

The next hearing pertaining to the charges against Carter is June 13, but only McCormack will likely appear on behalf of his client. He doesn’t expect a resolution to be reached at that date.

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