Charges dropped against man accused of assaulting Marietta police in restaurant

Charges have been tossed out against a man charged in a March 2019 altercation with Marietta police inside a restaurant.

Cobb County Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell signed an order Friday dismissing charges against Renardo Nehemiah Lewis. Lewis was charged with making terroristic threats, assaulting an officer and trying to remove police weapons during the March 31 incident at IHOP at 179 Cobb Parkway North.

Channel 2 Action News reported Friday that prosecutors asked Kell to dismiss the charges after new information surfaced about one of the officers involved in the case. According to the news station, Marietta police conducted an internal investigation of officer Enrique Mallen for allegedly falsifying his time card and not performing his duties.

Mallen is no longer with the department. Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said Mallen worked for the agency from November 2015 to March of this year. McPhilamy said Mallen was allowed to resign.

“We believe the case in chief to be warranted, with credible victims and witnesses and expect it to proceed like any other case,” McPhilamy said. “Further, there is extensive photographic and video evidence documenting the actions of the suspect independent of any individual victim or witness.”

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Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes said prosecutors work to do the right thing, “even when it’s not understood by others.”

“We are guided by standards of prosecution and high ethical standards which remind us that ‘The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not (or not continue to) pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances’,” she said.

Sarah Flack, the attorney representing Lewis, did not return a call from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution requesting a comment.

Officers were dispatched to IHOP just after midnight March 31, 2019, and were told Lewis and his wife had a dispute with employees. According to an arrest warrant obtained by Marietta police, Lewis allegedly threatened to shoot people inside the restaurant.

In a video posted on Instagram by Lewis’ relative, Lewis and his wife repeatedly tell officers no threat was made. One officer grabbed Lewis and he responded by telling the cop, “please don’t grab me, sir.”

ExploreMan punched by Marietta cop in IHOP scuffle charged with making threats

Three officers were seen struggling with Lewis while attempting to handcuff him. The video shows Lewis breaking free and the officers once again trying to restrain him. The scene descends into chaos as Lewis’ wife tries to get him to comply while the officers continue to wrestle with him.

The officers eventually wrestle Lewis to the ground, and one officer is seen on the video punching Lewis several times in the head before he is handcuffed and taken from the restaurant. He was booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center and released in early May 2019 while his case moved through the criminal justice system.

A demonstration protesting Marietta Police Department’s handling of the situation was held April 26 around downtown and Glover Park.