Two triple shootings. Several high speed chases. A 'one-man' crime spree through Dothan. The apparent assault of two Dothan police officers.
Dothan has been the site of several high-profile violent acts, beginning in February when police say a man committed assault, carjacked a resident, robbed two others and ran from police in a stolen car that resulted in the death of a motorist, all within two hours. Since then, the city has had two triple shootings, a police chase involving a murder suspect from another state and several other incidents considered more than "run-of-the-mill" crime.
Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said Monday the incidents could have happened anywhere, but added the department has responded by concentrating efforts where they are most needed.
“A community is only as good as the citizens in the community,” Dothan Police Chief Steve Parrish said. “We have good communities in Dothan, but we also have some bad elements in the communities who do not want to obey the law. That’s why the department started our Sectored Patrol. The Sectored Patrol allows us to identify areas we have received reports in and we target those areas. We increase patrol in those areas and we work toward reducing crime in those areas. With the increase in patrol for those areas, if an officer sees anything or anyone suspicious, that officer will address that issue right then. We ask the community to be patient with us. If an officer believes someone or something is suspicious that officer is going to check it out. This may also include pulling over a vehicle. Like I said, we are saturating the areas where trouble has been reported, and arresting the trouble makers.”
Parrish believes the Sectored Patrol is benefiting the community.
“I believe this form of patrol is working,” Parrish said. “When we get a report we work that area, and we work that area until the troublemakers have relocated or they are arrested. Our goal is to protect every community, because each community has good people in it. We are going to continue to match aggressiveness in every community to protect every citizen. However, breaking the law and playing target practice in the streets shooting people is not going to be tolerated.”
Firearm offenses have declined since the department began its Sectored Patrol, Parrish said.
Several highly-publicized offenses have occurred in Dothan since February, when Jeremy Jermain Jones, 38, was charged with murder, eight counts of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident, and attempted kidnapping after he allegedly embarked on one of the largest crime sprees in the area.
The offenses continued:
» April 13, Dothan police arrested a suspect in a North Carolina homicide after she led officers on a high-speed chase where speeds reached 100 miles per hour. Saundra Wagner of Maysville, N.C., had been sought in an April 8 murder. Wagner took officers on a chase through the southern part of Dothan until it came to an end when Wagner wrecked after turning onto North Cherokee Avenue. She has since been extradited to North Carolina to face murder charges.
» Six days later investigators with the Dothan Police Department were called to Arlington Avenue where three men suffered gunshot wounds. One of the men, Cornelius Williams, 35, died from his injuries. Larry Antionette Garlington, 23, is charged with murder and aggravated assault. According to reports, an altercation between numerous people escalated and resulted in a volley of gunfire.
» On Saturday afternoon, May 4, three people suffered gunshot wounds during a fight in the 2300 block of Denton Road. Jaquavius Lamonte Flownory, 22, of Dothan was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a gun and shooting into an occupied dwelling.
» Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, Dothan Police assisted the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Houston County Sheriff’s Office in a high-speed chase that ended abruptly when a white Tahoe being driven by Travis Lee Spurlock, 31, crashed in the front yard of a home in the 500 block of West Main Street at about 2 a.m. According to law enforcement the chase began on US 231 South near the Dothan National Golf Course. The driver tried to lose troopers through the parking lot of Cowboys before heading toward Dothan traveling at more than 90 mph.
Spurlock is charged with attempt to elude and reckless endangerment.
» Later Sunday afternoon, May 5, a Dothan man was arrested after allegedly assaulting two police officers. Kevin Lee Monkman, 29, is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer-strong arm. A female suspect, Carla Dawn Meeker, 40, of Dothan, was also arrested on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing government operations.
» The weekend ended with investigators responding to a report of gunfire near Dusy Street. Police say the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the side. No arrests have been made in this case at this time.