A wanted Forsyth man thought he was running from deputies but wound up in a tree 5 feet off the ground screaming and saying he was being chased by wild coyotes, an easy capture for local law enforcement.
Courtney Williams of Lassiter Road near High Falls called 911 around 8:28 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 to report noises in the woods behind her home. Williams told deputy Phillip Billingslea said she was outside and heard someone in the woods calling for help. She said there are trails behind her house on her property and she thought the man was hurt on one of the trails. Sgt. Willie Barkley, Cpl. Nicholas Ortiz, and deputy Corbin Becelia arrived and heard the man calling for help in the woods. Barkley went to Old Cork Road to see if he could reach the man from that side of Williams’ property and Billingslea, Ortiz and Williams entered the woods from the trails on her property.
After walking 300 to 400 yards into the woods, deputies found a man about 5 feet up in a tree. Billingslea asked him why he was out in the woods at night and the man replied he was running from about 15 coyotes.
Billingslea asked him for his name, and he didn’t answer; he just kept stating he was scared and wanted to get out of the woods. After getting him out of the woods and into the paramedics’ care, he was hesitant to give his name. Billingslea then learned the man was Deja Antoine Grier, 32, of 300 Patrol Road. Grier said he was hesitant to give his name because he knew he had a warrant. Grier said earlier that night, he was in a house on Old Cork Road and saw a Monroe County patrol car on his street searching the neighborhood. Grier said knowing he had a warrant; he left the house and ran into the woods. Grier stated while in the woods, he saw several coyotes. He said he tried to run and get away, and that’s how he ended up stuck in the tree. Dispatch said Grier had a valid warrant out of Atlanta. He was handcuffed and taken to the Monroe County Jail for the warrant.