COWETA COUNTY, GA (CBS46) – A motorcycle driver who was caught on camera pulling out a gun and pointing it at another driver Sunday was allowed to go free, and a witness wants to know why. It happened on State Highway 54 in Coweta County near the Fayette County line. To the man who captured the incident on his private dashboard camera, it looked like an incident of road rage, plain and simple. The witness who recorded the video is a former Georgia police officer.
CBS46 News is protecting his identity because of the nature of his current work. He said it’s his opinion that the motorcycle driver put everyone near him in danger. If the rider felt threatened, it appeared he had the power to get away from the situation, the witness said. “Drawing a firearm, in just about every case, should be an absolute last resort. It seems like it was this guy’s first resort,” said the witness. The witness followed the motorcycle while on the phone with 911 and helped police catch up with him.
The rider was put in handcuffs, but in a surprise move, Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies decided to let him go. “This guy is college-age. We know what just happened in Oregon. How do you not take a firearm out of the hand of a guy who’s going to behave this way- who’s going to act this reckless?” asked the witness. So what was their reason for not arresting him? The witness said deputies told him they didn’t think the people in the black car would be in town to testify at the first appearance in court. It’s an excuse the former police officer said he’s not buying. In the opinion of the witness, police should have charged the man with disorderly conduct at the very least.
“If I commit aggravated assault, if I point a weapon at people and threaten their lives on a public highway in broad daylight, and I don’t even go to jail? I don’t even get a ticket? They didn’t even hang a citation on this guy. What do I have to do to get arrested in Coweta County?” asked the witness. Peachtree City police were the first ones to catch up with the suspect, but when Coweta County deputies arrived, the witness said the deputies called their supervisor and received instructions to let the man go.
Coweta County Sheriff’s Lt. Col. James Yarbrough sent CBS46 News the following written statement Sunday night: “The initial report was made to Peachtree City Police this date by the victim flagging down one of their officers. After the victim called 911 and gave a description of suspect, the motorcycle and direction of travel, Peachtree City found a subject matching that description.
Also a witness stopped and advised officers that he had gotten the incident on his personal dash cam . Upon viewing the video officers discovered the incident had happened in Coweta county and we were notified to assist. We spoke with witness and have the information on the suspect, but the victim told PTC police he needed to go home to Henry county and was not available for us to take a report/statement or to take a look at the suspect.
All of our interviews were videoed and recorded and the investigation is continuing and we hope to have the victim in soon for his report.” The witness said he felt like he should also be considered a victim because the gun was briefly pointed at him as the rider was drawing it. He said he is planning to ask a judge, Monday, for an arrest warrant as a private citizen. That is something Georgia residents have the power to do if they disagree with an officer’s decision not to charge someone with a crime.