Athens police officer fired after suspect injured in collision, arrest

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has fired one of its officers in the wake of a suspect being injured during a foot pursuit and arrest.

Earlier on Saturday, the department said the officer was on administrative leave. A Facebook post by the department said it was related to an incident that occurred Friday afternoon.

The post mentioned the department being “aware of a Facebook post regarding” the incident.

“There have been some concerns, brought to us by the community, over the actions of our officers during this incident,” the police post said.

This still image is from a dashcam video provided by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, showing when an officer’s vehicle and suspect collided on Friday afternoon.

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After reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, and all the other facts and circumstances of this case, Chief Scott Freeman terminated the employment of Officer Taylor Saulters, a press release on Saturday evening stated.

Athens police spokesperson Epifanio Rodriguez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the incident took place in the area of Triangle Plaza when Saulters and officer Hunter Blackmon spotted a suspect, Timmy Patmon, with felony warrants in the area.

Timmy Patmon (Clarke County Sheriff’s Office)

Credit: Clarke County Sheriff's Office

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Credit: Clarke County Sheriff's Office

Blackmon exited the patrol car when Patmon fled on foot, Rodriguez said. Saulters remained in the patrol car and attempted to cut off Patmon’s path when he struck a curb and a stop sign, causing the vehicle’s driver side tire to flatten.

As Patmon ran down Nelli B Avenue, Saulters again attempted to cut him off, resulting in Patmon colliding with the patrol car, Rodriguez said. The impact happened in the roadway and at low speed.

Patmon was transported to a hospital for treatment and was eventually turned over to the Clarke County jail, Rodriguez said. The extent of Patmon’s injuries were scrapes and bruises.

Patmon was charged with violating probation and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

When Saulters was earlier placed on administrative leave, the chief also initiated an internal affairs investigation. The Georgia State Patrol was also investigating the incident, according to the Facebook post.

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