Spalding Buddhist compound damaged by driver allegedly under the influence of drugs

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A Spalding County Buddhist compound was damaged Tuesday afternoon by a driver allegedly under the influence of drugs.

Sheriff Darrell Dix said the incident occurred at the Buddhist compound located off Steele Road.

“A driver named Benjamin Stallings (age 61) wrecked his vehicle somewhere out off of Steele Road. He walked to the Buddhist compound and went down their drive on foot, stole one of their buses, drove it down a trail in the woods and crashed into a gazebo down in the woods,” Dix said.

Stallings sustained what was believed to be a non-life-threatening head injury in the crash.

Dix said in an abundance of caution, Stallings was air-lifted to a Macon hospital for treatment.

“The Georgia State Patrol is going to be handling the accident and we’re going to be handling the warrants and additional charges related to the theft of the vehicle and damage to property,” Dix said.

SCSO officials said contact was made with the monks who live on the compound.

“No one else is injured. It does not appear to be an attack on the religious compound or any type of bias. It appears to be an intoxicated individual looking for an opportunity to steal a vehicle,” Dix said. “It appears to be intoxication by drugs.”

Contrary to rumors circulating on social media, no shots were fired in this incident.

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