An incident during a traffic stop on County Line Road Monday night left a Fayette County Sheriff’s deputy injured after being dragged and thrown from the vehicle when the passenger attempted to flee the scene. The deputy’s injury was not life-threatening. A suspect was shot and wounded by the deputy, police said.
Fayette County Sheriff’s spokesperson Brent Rowan said the incident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. when a deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling on County Line Road in east Fayette County for an equipment violation. Rowan said the deputy smelled what he thought was marijuana as he approached the vehicle.
The suspect vehicle was occupied by a male driver along with a second male who was sitting in the passenger seat, Rowan said. The deputy requested a second deputy to assist him with the traffic stop. When the second deputy arrived the men was asked to exit the vehicle and they moved out of the roadway near the passenger side of the vehicle away from traffic, Rowan said.
“While the deputies were speaking to the driver about the suspected odor of marijuana coming from inside, the passenger jumped into the driver’s seat of the vehicle in an attempt to flee the scene,” said Rowan. “The second deputy partially entered the suspect vehicle in an attempt to prevent the passenger from leaving the scene. A brief struggle ensued before the passenger was able to put the suspect vehicle into gear and began to drive away, ignoring commands to stop.”
Rowan said the second deputy who was partially in the vehicle was being dragged and nearly pulled underneath the suspect vehicle.
“The driver continued to flee and the deputy discharged his firearm at the fleeing passenger in an attempt to stop the force being used against him,” Rowan said. “The deputy was thrown from the fleeing vehicle, receiving non-life threatening injuries, and was transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital.”
Rowan said the passenger fled the scene in the suspect vehicle and was located a short time later at a residence in Clayton County.
The passenger was injured by a gunshot wound and was transported to Atlanta Medical Center, Rowan said, adding that the extent of the injuries to the passenger is unknown at this time. Criminal charges against the passenger are also pending in this case, said Rowan.
The name of the individual being charged is not known at this time.
Rowan said the Georgia Bureau of Investigations has been asked to investigate the use of force incident.