Covington man pleads not guilty in gun-pointing incident

CONYERS -- A Covington man pleaded not guilty last week to charges that he pointed a weapon at a State Patrol trooper.

Cardal Dwayne Haywood, 20, of Covington, entered a plea of not guilty on Thursday during an arraignment in Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford's courtroom.

Haywood is charged with brandishing an AK-47 during a traffic stop by a Georgia State Patrol trooper in September.

A GSP officer shot Haywood once in the thigh after the trooper attempted to make a traffic stop on Haywood's Mitsubishi Gallant for following too closely on Salem Road. After pulling behind QuikTrip, Haywood bailed out of the car and brandished the weapon. He was taken by a Lifeflight helicopter to an Atlanta area hospital.Haywood is a convicted felon and cannot legally possess a firearm, according to authorities.

Haywood is charged with aggravated assault upon a peace officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, fleeing and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, following too closely, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and possession of drug-related objects.

He remains in the Rockdale County jail.