Athens man allegedly tried running over bartender who closed his tab


Lawton Alan Blalock

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man reportedly was arrested early Monday after he allegedly attempted to drive a car into a bartender who had cut him off for drinking too much.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, 24-year-old Lawton Alan Blalock was drinking at The Rail on Mitchell Bridge Road at about 12:13 a.m. when the bartender called to say she wanted the customer barred from the premises because he was very intoxicated and being disruptive.

While on the phone with a police communications officer, the bartender said that Blalock had left the bar, got into his car and drove it onto the curb where he apparently tried to hit the building before attempting to hit her with the vehicle.

A bouncer who reportedly escorted Blalock from the bar after he became belligerent and harassed other customers reportedly told police that after entering his car, Blalock sped through the parking lot and into the lot of a neighboring business, where he turned around and drove onto the curb at The Rail, where bar patrons were sitting.

Those patrons thought they were going to be struck by the car, and one of them “actually threw a tablet, which broke, at the vehicle as a reaction to it driving up towards them,” an officer wrote in a report of the incident.

Once on the curb, Blalock reportedly drove toward the rear of the business where the bartender was standing, the police report noted, and the bartender told officers that she believed the man tried to run her over because she had closed his tab.

The report noted that when he exited the car Blalock confronted the other patrons, one of whom used a chair as a barrier to keep the suspect separated from the others.

Blalock then returned to his car and drove away, and officers who searched the area found the suspect’s car up against a gate on a service road on private property west of Ben Burton Park, according to the report.

The man smelled of alcoholic beverage and gave officers different stories, including claiming that he had not been driving and was “actually just trying to get an Uber,” the report noted.

Blalock was subsequently arrested and during a search of his car, officers located two open containers of beer and two vape pens with packaging that indicated they contained THC/cannabis.

The report noted that the front end of the car had sustained damage and Blalock was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries and then transported to the county jail, where he was booked in on charges of aggravated assault, reckless driving, DUI, and possession of open containers of alcohol in a vehicle.

He was also served with outstanding warrants for loitering or prowling and disorderly conduct, according to the jail’s website.

As of Tuesday morning, the Windy Hill Court resident was being held in lieu of bonds totaling $5,000.