When an Athens man exited his truck at the request of an Oconee County Sheriff's deputy and immediately placed his hands behind his back without being prompted to do so, the deputy says he was tipped off that some type of criminal activity had probably taken place.
The traffic stop on Jan. 8 occurred around 10:30 p.m. at the intersection of Mars Hill and Bells roads after the deputy witnessed some erratic driving, according to an incident report.
The driver told the deputy he'd just left a friend's house and stopped at a convenience store. He also reportedly admitted to having consumed a beer earlier in the day.
The deputy asked the man to exit the Chevy Silverado and meet him at the back of the truck. The man complied, according to the deputy, but stopped for a moment to throw something back into the truck. The deputy said that as the man walked toward him, the man put his hands behind his back.
"Are you giving up already?" the deputy asked, to which the man reportedly replied, "no."
"Through my experience when people do this it's a sign of possibly [sic] criminal activity and the suspect knows that he is going to jail," the deputy wrote in the report.
The man passed a sobriety test, but answered in an inconsistent manner a series of questions about items that might be inside the truck, according to the deputy.
The man's story also didn't match that of a female passenger, the deputy said.
A consented search of the car yielded a small, clear plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine and a locked can with a digital scale inside, according to the report. The man reportedly denied ownership of the contraband.
Tyler Harris Hairston, 34, was booked into the jail on charges of failure to maintain lane and possession of methamphetamine. He was later released after posting bond.