School intruder claims to be "Overseer of Jesus" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School intruder claims to be "Overseer of Jesus"

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(Source: Terrell County Sheriff) (Source: Terrell County Sheriff)

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A frighteningly bizarre incident occurred at a South Georgia Middle School Thursday when a man walked into the school claiming to be the overseer of Jesus and tried to get into the school hallways.

54-year-old Earl Smith was dressed in a shirt and tie. When Smith left police say he tried to hit the principal and a school police officer with his car.

Dozens of law officers trailed Earl Smith through the streets of downtown Tifton until they finally stopped him at 5th and Main.Then they had to use a taser gun to subdue him.

School surveillance video shows Earl Smith walking into 8th Street Middle School just after 8:30 this morning.

He casually walks into the front office and then told workers he was an overseer of Jesus.

The receptionist called the principal and when the principal went out, Smith didn't get but 40 feet down the hall before he was stopped.

"I introduce myself to him and let him know he cannot be in the building he tells me he is the over seer of Jesus and he is going through our building and I told him he cannot be in our building," said Principal Dr. Ryan Gravitt.

The intruder then demonstrates even more bizarre behavior.

"He claimed along the way that we would bow down and he actually at one point in time got on his hands and knees and bowed and as I tried to escort him throughout the office he did turn and tell me not to touch him," said Dr. Gravitt.

As Smith left the building, the principal and resource officer followed behind.

"As he got in his vehicle and pulled out, I walked out here asking him to stop and our police officers walking here behind me, and stepped in front of the vehicle, then that's when he jerked the wheel to me," said Dr. Gravitt.

"The mirror caught Dr. Gravitt then he lined the truck upon me and started towards me and accelerated and I got out of the way and left the campus." said School Resource Officer Greg Daughtry

Smith then led more than a dozen law enforcement vehicles on a chase around town before he was finally stopped near the intersection of 5th street and Main.

"He was just crazy he was just acting crazy I don't know if he was there to hurt anyone I don't know what his purpose was but he scared a lot of people it happened during class do there weren't any kids in the hallway," said Daughtry.

School officials and law enforcement say they do not know what Earl Smith was doing at the school and what his intentions were.

The principal says his school is as safe as they come, and wants to assure folks that unwanted guests will not get far. He says he is thankful law enforcement officers and school officials were able to work together so quickly to take care of the situation.

Tift County Sheriff's officials say Smith has never been arrested in the county.

He's charged with several counts of aggravated assault as well as obstruction, fleeing and attempting to elude.

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