Authorities continue search near Jemison for officer’s assailant

Published 5:06 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

Law enforcement officials continued the search Friday for a man who assaulted an officer.

Zackery Westbrook, 28, of Jemison is wanted by police after striking a Chilton County Sheriff’s investigator and then escaping, Sheriff Kevin Davis said.

Darius Garrison, 20, of Jemison was arrested in the same situation. He was charged with attempting to elude a police officer and has made bond.

Two investigators were looking into burglaries in the Jemison area on Thursday when, while traveling Highway 155 in their police vehicle, they saw two men run across the road, out of one wooded area and into another wooded area.

Based on the suspicious activity, the investigators stopped their vehicle and followed the men. They came across the men sitting in the woods and started questioning them.

“During that conversation, one of the guys hits the deputy in the face with his fist,” Davis said. It was determined that Westbrook assaulted the officer. He escaped after a struggle.

Garrison fled and was pursued by the other investigator. During the chase, the investigator injured his leg and Garrison escaped.

Both investigators were treated by medical personnel on the scene and released.

A search began in the area for the two suspects, with Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, Jemison Police Department, Clanton Police Department and the Bibb Correctional Facility canine tracking team all contributing.

Garrison was captured just before dark on Thursday. The search for Westbrook is ongoing, Davis said Friday afternoon.

“That all is still in the process of an investigation—what would make them want to just jump on the officers when they’re just sitting there talking to them,” Davis said. “When something looks suspicious, it’s their job to check it out.

“It just goes to show that with every call, you just don’t know.”

The sheriff said there has been no connection made between Westbrook and Garrison and the burglaries the investigators were originally looking into.

Anyone with information about Westbrook should call the sheriff’s office at 755-4698.