By Nicole Burns

(Buford, Ga.) — On the morning of June 5, 2019, Gwinnett County 911 received multiple calls about a black male screaming for help and trying to stop cars in the vicinity of Heritage Crest Parkway and Hannahberry Place in Buford, Ga. Callers reported that the male was wearing grey shorts and a blanket.  His irate behavior was so extreme that he had scared many of the callers back into their homes.

Upon arrival, officers were flagged down by two gentlemen who work for the City of Buford Gas Department. The men told the officers that they witnessed a male screaming in the middle of the road and trying to stop cars. The two men decided to call the police because they felt like the safety of nearby residents was in jeopardy.

Police locate the male identified as Hamilton Josephs, age 23 of Buford shoeless and shirtless wearing only shorts and a blanket.  Josephs told police that he had been run out of his friend’s house and had two people chasing him. He then went on to say that his girlfriend was in the house and being held hostage by his former youth pastor. When the officer questioning Josephs asked him where they were, he pointed to a hedgerow and said, “In there.”

The officer proceeded to check the hedgerow that Josephs had pointed to and found no one inside. Josephs then said that they had moved in and were in a different hedgerow.  He said that he could hear them “plain as day.” The officer checked the second hedgerow and found only a cat.

Due to the subject’s behavior, the officer then asked him if he would like to be seen by a paramedic.  Josephs assured police that he was not crazy. He then told the officer that he was clean from drugs but had taken Molly three days earlier.  Molly is the street name for Methylenedioxymethamphetamine which is often referred to as MDMA or ecstasy.

Based off of their observations and those of witnesses, the police determined that they had enough probable cause to arrest Josephs for disorderly conduct and for loitering and prowling.  An officer escorted Josephs to the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville where he was admitted on an involuntary committal for mental health. Two other officers went to the home of Joseph’s girlfriend and verified that she was fine.

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