September 11, 2018
During the Civil Service Board meeting on September 10th a letter of commendation was introduced to the board. The letter written by Sgt. Bishop of the Jacksonville Police Department outlined an event that occurred on August 13, 2018 where officers were dispatched to investigate an occupied suspicious vehicle on Four Mile Drive SE.
Jacksonville Officers Steven Martin, Evan Ontiveros, Christopher Decklard, and Fire Marshall Lee Batey arrived at the location and located the vehicle where they saw a man in the driver seat that appeared to be unconscious. The officers approached the vehicle quietly and verified there was a man sitting in the front seat wearing gloves with a handgun sitting on his lap. Officer Martin was able to open the vehicle door without alerting the suspect and removed the firearm at which time Officer Deckard secured the weapon awayy from the still unconscious occupant. The suspect, later identified as Cully Max Bragg, was then given commands by the officers to exit the vehicle. Bragg woke up and began to violently attack the officers on scene by swinging his arms and kicking his legs. Officer’s Martin, Ontiveros, and Fire Marshall Batey were able to overpower the suspect’s violent attack and placed him on the ground to be restrained.
Unbeknownst to the officer’s on scene, Bragg has a history of violence dating back to the early 1980’s. At the age of 14, Bragg was charged with the murder of George Edward Alsobrook, Jr. after shooting him with a shotgun; Bragg was later convicted, as an adult, of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
After his arrest Bragg was placed in the Calhoun County Jail where he made the news again. On September 2, 2018 while in jail on the charges from the Jacksonville incident, Bragg and two other inmates escaped from the facility by forcing a door open and scaling a 10′ fence topped with razor wire. Bragg and the other two inmates were captured within 12 hours and were located close to the detention center.
Sgt. Bishop concluded the Letter of Commendation by stating “Officer’s Martin, Ontiveros, Deckard, & Fire Marshall Batey showed great courage, dedication and professionalism to themselves, their fellow officers, the department, and the citizens of Jacksonville. By their swift actions, the citizens of Jacksonville should feel a little safer knowing officers of this caliber are on the streets protecting them. I wish to commend you all for your hard work and dedication to the Jacksonville Police Department, Jacksonville Fire Dept, and the Citizens of Jacksonville”.