The following story is per physique camera pictures and police statements when it comes to an incident in which a rookie officer drove his squad car accurate into a fleeing suspect, causing him to be fired from the Athens-Clarke County Police Division inner hours.
The name came in at 7:30 p.m. Friday: Timmy Patmon was working. There was a warrant out for him for violating probation on a drug label final year — meth and now now not up to an oz of marijuana — and now he was working from an officer thru east Athens, Ga.
Officer Taylor Saulters sat in his squad car just a few blocks away, paying attention to the name. He regarded to his left, then his accurate. Then he threw the auto into reverse and grew to change into down a narrow residential facet road, sirens blaring, wipers flicking light rain off the windshield.
He accelerated between low-roofed homes and veered left at a fork — at an intersection that was known as the “Iron Triangle” at some stage within the crack cocaine disaster of the early 2000s, essentially essentially based on Flagpole.
Oncoming vehicles veered out of the vogue as Saulters sped past the liquor store, the police situation, the church. He spotted Patmon half of a block ahead, sprinting down the sidewalk, clutching his baseball cap.
Patmon was 24 years archaic. Saulters was a year out of the police academy. He would later suppose his bosses that he’d been searching to dam the fugitive’s toddle. It all passed off in a span of seconds — between two passes of the windshield wipers.
Saulters grew to change into the auto in direction of the sidewalk, striking the curb just a few paces in entrance of Patmon. The car jolted and a entrance tire went flat.
Patmon escaped into the facet road, sprinting down the yellow line as a 2nd officer pursued him on foot. Saulters accelerated and veered in direction of him. One other jolt, after which Patmon was tumbling over his hood, bouncing off his windshield.
Come what may maybe he by no methodology misplaced his grip on his ball cap, at the same time as he fell face down within the facet road.
Saulters leaped out of the auto. The 2nd officer had already caught up and was straddling Patmon, who lay writhing on the pavement.
“We got him,” Saulters mentioned.
He reached motivate inner his car to extinguish the sirens. Almost without prolong, the audio note on his physique cam stuffed with the sounds of different folks screaming.
A woman had stepped into the facet road to peek at Patmon, covered in grime at the officers’ ft. “Oh my God,” she mentioned. “Why’d you hit that man?”
Saulters pointed at her. “Terminate!” He crooked appropriate down to motivate the 2nd officer cuff Patmon, who wouldn’t let lope of his ball cap. The hat was drawn taut as the officers tried to pry his arms aside.
It had been now now not up to 60 seconds attributable to the affect, but already a throng had gathered at the Iron Triangle. The accounts of witnesses had been relayed thru inflamed shouts: “He hit the man! He hit the man! He hit the man!”
On the floor, Patmon half of-closed his eyes and within the waste let the officers cuff him.
“That you may well well likely also’t hit the man with a car cherish that!”
“We’re going to desire crowd control,” Saulters mentioned.
“We want, uh, EMS,” he added.
A 2nd squad car pulled up. Extra uniforms joined Saulters and the 2nd officer. A man in a mask T-shirt stepped out of the crew, pulled a lanyard from his jeans and slung a badge round his neck.
“I got him with my car,” Saulters explained. “That’s what they’re yelling about.”
Many of the officers started making a fringe, herding the shouters motivate to the sidewalk. They left Saulters and Patmon to occupy a form of dialog within the facet road.
“Get up,” Saulters mentioned, nearly softly. “We’re going to put you within the motivate of this car while we kind out this, all accurate?”
Patmon didn’t switch.
“You don’t desire to lay cherish that, man. It ain’t accurate for your handcuffs.”
“It hurts,” Patmon mentioned.
“What hurts?” Saulters requested. “From can occupy to you hit the floor?”
“You realize!” Patmon mentioned.
“Oh, I know. I know what I did. Why’d you flee?”
“I don’t know. I upright did.”
Patmon within the waste rose and sat on the curb with his arms sure at the motivate of him. Saulters missed the jeers from all round him, discussing the damage to his entrance wheel with varied officers.
After a minute or so, a girl walked out of the crew. She handed solemnly thru the police line and held out a cigarette to Patmon.
She put it in his mouth and lit it, and the officers let him smoke it for just a few moments. Then Saulters took it away.
“We are capable of’t smoke within the auto,” he mentioned. “All accurate?”
Patmon now now now not protested. The officer loaded him into the 2nd patrol car — the individual that hadn’t hit him. Two days later, Patmon would remain jailed on charges of probation violation and obstructing an officer.
Saulters had now now not thought his possess squad car would be drivable after the collision, but he was ready to rattle away on three accurate tires, leaving the mad crowd at the Triangle.
He held Patmon’s confiscated cigarette out the auto window as he made one of his final journeys as an Athens-Clarke County police officer.
About half of a dozen varied officers had already gathered in a discontinuance-by car car car car parking lot when Saulters pulled up within the crippled car.
“Rattling!” he shouted, getting out and slamming the door.
“He’s honest,” one in every of the officers informed Saulters. In a new open Saturday, police mentioned Patmon had suffered scrapes and bruises.
“He was working this model,” Saulters informed the colleagues gathered round him. “And I upright came this model, and he ran into the hood of my car and bounced off.”
“All accurate,” one in every of the officers mentioned. “As prolonged as you didn’t make some roughly overt movement to strike him, you’ll be honest.”
But he wasn’t. Within a subject of hours, the police chief would stare pictures from Saulters’s physique camera, which confirmed him jerking the steering wheel in Patmon’s route upright earlier than the auto struck him.
An interior affairs investigation was opened, and the rookie officer’s firing was launched in a info open now now not up to a day after the collision.
The facts open seriously supported Saulters’s version of events, declaring that had been searching to dam Patmon, in want to deliberately hit him. But the officer, who may maybe well now now not be reached, had additionally violated unspecified policies and used force excessively, a police spokesman informed The Washington Put up.
The state of Georgia will proceed to analyze him and may maybe well place additional penalties.
Earlier than he grew to change into off his camera on Friday, Saulters conscientiously situation down Patmon’s cigarette, which he had carried with him from the scene of the shatter.
“Any one got a lighter?” an officer requested.