Local indicted in January patrol car theft
by Michelle Babcock
July 19, 2014 12:00 AM | 3238 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Josiah Luke Farino
Josiah Luke Farino
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A Woodstock man was indicted this week on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident in January when he was shot by police after they say he stole a Cherokee Sheriff’s patrol car while attempting to flee from authorities.

Josiah Luke Farino, 29, was indicted Tuesday by a Cherokee County grand jury on nine charges related to the January incident, court records show.

The indictment documents show the charges included aggravated assault on a peace officer, theft by taking, obstruction of an officer, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, interference with government property, reckless driving, hit and run and possession of marijuana, less than an ounce.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Rachelle Carnesale said Farino could face a combined sentence of up to 55 years for the charges. “He faces five to 20 years for count one, aggravated assault on a peace officer,” Carnesale explained. “(And) two to 20 for count two, theft of the vehicle.”

The other charges carry sentences of either 12 months, or one to five years, Carnesale said.

In January, according to authorities at the time, Farino stole a sheriff’s patrol car after leading the deputy on a foot chase around Baxter’s Groceries on Highway 92.

A deputy was sent to investigate a call about a suspicious person who the caller thought might have warrants out for his arrest, Cherokee Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said at the time.

baker said when deputies confronted the suspect, the man fled on foot, leading a deputy on a foot chase around Baxter’s Groceries.

“The deputy chased him around the building, then the suspect jumped in the patrol car,” Baker said in January. “The deputy fired a number of rounds at it.”

Farino is believed to have been hit by a bullet when the deputy fired at the patrol car he was driving, Baker said.

“I’ve been working here 21 years. I would say this is the first time I recall seeing a suspect getting into one of our patrol cars and driving away. It’s not something that happens very often,” Baker said at the time.

Farino fled westbound and made it about four miles, just past the main entrance for the First Baptist Church of Woodstock on Highway 92, near Neese Road.

“Woodstock officers were at his door as soon as the car stopped,” Baker said.

Farino was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital for treatment for an undisclosed number of gunshot wounds, released a week later and booked into the Cherokee Adult Detention Center without bond.

Farino had multiple warrants out for his arrest at the time of the incident, including a probation violation out of Gwinnett County and failure to appear from the city of Woodstock, along with outstanding warrants in Roswell, Alpharetta and Sandy Springs, Baker said.

Farino was also indicted this week on three additional charges of felony obstruction of an officer stemming from a June 18 incident while he was in the detention center, Carnesale said.

Farino faces one to five year sentences for each count of felony obstruction, Carnesale explained.

According to court documents, a Sheriff’s deputy said Farino struck him “in the jaw and head more than once, causing swelling of the jaw and lip” after refusing “to comply with a regular search” of his cellphone at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center.

Another deputy reported Farino caused bodily harm “by striking him multiple times and scratching him in the face,” court documents show.

Farino is set to appear in Cherokee County Superior Court at 9 a.m. on Aug. 13, in courtroom 2A, according to court documents.

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