Houston man who authorities say fired on police charged with aggravated assault

bpurser@macon.comJune 28, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Marked with orange police evidence flags, a stop sign and house showed damage Friday from gunfire that authorities say was delivered to police officers from a man barricaded in his home the night before.

The man, whom police later identified as James Daniel Curles Jr., 27, of Bonaire, held a nearly two-hour standoff with police Thursday until a SWAT negotiator was able to talk him into coming out of his Galaxy Avenue home unarmed, said Tabitha Pugh, public information officer for the police department.

Curles initially was taken to Houston Medical Center for evaluation. He was charged Friday with four counts of aggravated assault on police officers, two counts each of criminal damage to property and criminal interference with governmental property (related to the bullet-riddled police cars), and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

He was expected to be transferred to the Houston County jail.

At the scene Friday, flags and small cones indicated where bullets riddled the tops and sides of two Warner Robins police cars. Other cones and flags marked out a bullet trajectory from Curles’ home through his yard, down the street in the direction of the police cars and through the stop sign to the damaged residence. The 100-block of Galaxy Avenue was roped off by yellow crime scene tape, and officers allowed only residents to enter.

Two Warner Robins police traffic investigators were taking multiple measurements. The officers were conducting what’s known as a “total station,” which is forensic mapping used to build a three-dimensional reconstruction of the crime scene, said police Capt. John Lanneau, head of crime scene investigations.

He characterized the painstaking process as “one of the most accurate methods used to measure and recreate a crime scene.”

The information gathered will be used to first create a detailed drawing and from the drawing, a virtual video can be produced, Lanneau said.

What led to the eruption of gunfire remains under investigation, Pugh said.

What is known is that police responded to the residence about 5:30 p.m. Thursday to assist medical personnel with a patient, who police later identified as Curles. His wife, who was in the yard at the time of the shooting, had called the ambulance, Pugh said.

While police were on their way, medical personnel heard what were believed to be shots fired from within the home, Pugh said. Once officers arrived, Curles began shooting at them, but officers did not shoot back, Pugh said. Curles came out unarmed about 7:30 p.m. There were no injuries.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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