The discovery of a naked man in the woods of Edgeworth ended with him being hospitalized for self-inflected injuries and charged with assaulting two deputies.
Deputy Sheriff Dillion Cates and Chief Deputy Jeffrey Mann of the Webster County Sheriff's Department gave this account of the incident:
A man called the sheriff's office around midday Dec. 18 to report he heard a man and woman arguing in a wooded area at 3037 Edgeworth Road (Webster County) on hunting property adjoining his. They were about a mile into woods on the north side of road.
Cates responded alone to find a naked man with injuries acting erratically and accompanied by a woman who was clothed. They were later identified as David Allen Doolittle, 37, and Tiffany Jones, 38. They had apparently camped overnight in an old cabin nearby, having been dropped off the day before by someone unknown.
The back of Doolittle's head was bleeding, which resulted from him banging his head on a tree earlier, Jones told deputies. His wounds also included two burns on his left arm. For safety reasons, Cates subsequently handcuffed Doolittle and Jones, who was later charged with possession of meth.
"He was belligerent, running through the woods and had wounds all over him," Mann said of Doolittle, adding that he apparently was under an altered mental state. Mann said Doolittle became violent when Cates tried to contact him and attempted to slip his cuffs off.
Cates' bodycam footage shows him repeatedly warning Doolittle that he was going to tase him if he did not stop trying to run away. The deputy eventually gets him on the ground as he tries to secure the handcuffs on him. Doolittle continues to resist and Cates tases him twice, after which Doolittle still tries to throw him off his back.
Because Doolittle needed medical attention and Cates needed help in restraining him, the deputy called 911 about 12:10 p.m.; radio service was unavailable in that remote area. The call was routed to Montgomery County because of the proximity but transferred to Webster 911.
In addition to EMS, Mann, Deputy Sheriff Tanner Pritchard, Chief Investigator Landon Griffin and Sheriff Tim Mitchell, all of the WCSD, and a deputy from Montgomery County responded. Mann said it took three deputies at a time to finally subdue Doolittle.
He was initially taken to North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora and then transferred to NMMC in Tupelo. Doolittle was discharged from the hospital Dec. 21 and deputies transported him to the Webster County Jail.
He was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer (Cates and Pritchard), disorderly conduct/failure to comply with a law enforcement officer and disturbing the peace. Doolittle was released from jail on a $2,000 recognizance bond on Dec. 28. Jones remained in jail as of Monday on a Mississippi Department of Corrections hold.