At 7:48 PM last night we received a call from a woman who said her daughter was being held against her will by a man she was babysitting for. Deputies were dispatched to 943 Crooked Creek Road, a residence in the Lake Sinclair are of southern Putnam County.
Deputy Barak Wood was the first officer on the scene. He was familiar with the residence and its occupant from answering a previous call there. Immediately upon exiting his patrol car he saw an individual run from the home and he gave pursuit on foot. Deputy received a shotgun blast right after giving chase. Wood was struck with birdshot in the area of his left eye, right shoulder and one of his hands. The perpetrator fired twice and it is unknown if one or both gunshots resulted in the deputy’s wounds. Deputy Wood returned fire then retreated and called for backup.
Many officers responded to the scene including Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 9:35PM Donovan Ray DANN (age 23 of 943 Crooked Creek Rd.) exited from the woods and surrendered to Putnam Deputy Sheriff Capt. Tony Frazier and Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee.
The babysitter, Jessica Tanner (age 24 of Morgan County) had fled to a nearby home. She had sustained injuries resulting from Dann striking her with his hands and fists and the butt stock of his shotgun. Ms. Tanner was treated and released from Putnam General Hospital.
Deputies located the 2 year old child inside the residence alone and unharmed. The child was subsequently released to its custodial mother who was not involved in the incident nor at the scene.
Deputy Wood was transported to Putnam General and thereafter went to a hospital in Athens. His wounds are not life threatening, but he does have a birdshot pellet inside his left eye socket and will be seeing an ophthalmologist tomorrow.
Deputy Thaddeus Dennis, the second officer on the scene, was NOT shot but was treated and released from Putnam General after suffering some complications related to hypertension.
Donovan Dann is charged with Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer and is presently being held in the Baldwin County Jail. I intend to file additional charges of Aggravated Assault for his assault upon Ms. Tanner and Cruelty to Children as the 2 year was present during most of the incident.
I want to express my sincere thanks to all of my fellow sheriffs from all over Georgia who called and/or sent deputies our way. I also want to thank all of our many fine citizens who have called and offered help and prayers for my deputy.
Howard R. Sills, Sheriff