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Jesup man allegedly watches neighbor undress through window, hits bf in head with axe handle

Written by: E. George

Published May 24, 2023 @ 8:40 PM ET

JESUP, Ga. – A 19-year-old woman called the authorities on April 29, 2023, to report her neighbor peeping in her bathroom window and watching her change clothes. She said he hit her boyfriend in the head with an axe handle when he confronted the peeping tom outside.

A Jesup Police officer responded to the North 3rd Lane residence, and the female victim explained that the suspect walked up to the building and climbed on a wooden structure beneath an open window. She did not notice him staring at her until he made the comment, “Girl, that is a phat!” and it startled her.

She screamed for her boyfriend, who ran outside and yelled at the 65-year-old suspect, Michael Clint Rawls. He said Rawls climbed down from the structure, picked up an axe handle, and hit him in the back of his head, causing a large laceration.

Rawls chased the 27-year-old male victim around the house and swung the handle at him again but missed. Her boyfriend struck Rawls in the face with a closed fist, causing him to return to his home.

The officer knocked on Rawls’ door for questioning and noticed a cut below his left eye and a swollen area on his face. When he asked what happened, the suspect said the male victim attacked him.

He denied looking through the window; however, the officer located the wooden structure and observed evidence of someone recently standing on it. When the officer inquired about the axe handle, Rawls told him he could find it in the bedroom.

He noted water droplets consistent with rainy weather and fresh scuff marks on the handle. He arrested Rawls and transported him to Wayne Memorial Hospital for jail clearance.

While at the hospital, Rawls needed to be verbally reprimanded for making inappropriate sexual comments to a nurse. The officer transported him to jail, where he faces peeping tom and aggravated assault charges. This case is currently pending in court.

Officer’s Narrative:
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]

I responded to [300 BLOCK] North 3rd Lane in reference to a peeping tom. Upon my arrival, I met with the complainant/victim [VICTIM #1] and the victim [VICTIM #2]. [VICTIM #1] explained to me that their neighbor (Michael Rawls) came up behind their residence, climbed up onto a wood structure and was looking through the bathroom window at her while she was changing clothes. [VICTIM #1] stated that the bathroom window was open and she didn’t noticed Rawls until he made the comment “girl that is a phat”! [VICTIM #1] stated that it scared her and she screamed for her boyfriend, all while seeing Rawls looking at her through the window.

[VICTIM #2] stated that when he heard [VICTIM #1] scream, he ran out the back of the house and saw Rawls getting off of the structure. [VICTIM #2] said that he started yelling at Rawls. At that point, Rawls picked up a composite ax handle and struck [VICTIM #2] along the back of his head, causing a large cut. [VICTIM #2] then told me that he started running around the house to get away from Rawls, who began chasing him around the house. [VICTIM #2] said that when they got around to the front of the residence, Rawls tried to strike him again with the ax handle, but missed. At that point, [VICTIM #2] stated that he struck Rawls on the left side of his face with his fist, causing Rawls to sustain a swollen area and a small cut just below his left eye. At that point, Rawls stopped swinging the ax handle and went back into his residence.

I then went and spoke with Rawls, who was inside his residence. After contact was made, I noticed a swollen area and a cut below his left eye. I asked him what had transpired on this evening and all he said was that [VICTIM #2] attacked him. I asked him if he was looking into the bathroom window and he said no. At that point, I called for a squad to respond and check both [VICTIM #2] and Rawls, due to the injuries they sustained during the altercation.

While waiting for the squad to arrive, I went to the back of the residence with [VICTIM #2] and he showed me the wood structure that was under the bathroom window. It was located just under the open window and it appeared that items sitting on it was pushed to the side as it moved to make room for someone to climb on it. I also noted that it gave access to a full view of the entire bathroom. I then went back to Rawls’s residence and asked him if he had an ax handle and he said he did. I asked where it was and was told that it was in his bedroom. I went to the bedroom and noted a red ax handle leaning against the bedroom wall. I noted that it had fresh scuff marks on it and water droplets, which would be consistent with the rainy weather conditions.

After the squad personnel checked [VICTIM #2] and Rawls, I advised Rawls that he was under arrest for aggravated assault and peeping tom. I then transported him to the Wayne Memorial Hospital for jail clearance. While at the hospital, Rawls had to be verbally reprimanded for making inappropriate, sexually in nature comments to the nurse that was doing his jail clearance. After Rawls was cleared, I transported him to CDC, where he is being held for pending warrants.

[End of Narrative]