George Frank Roach
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Dentist’s attorney says Brookhaven standoff could have been avoided

The attorney for the dentist whose Brookhaven home was the site of an hours-long SWAT standoff last week said his client would have turned himself in peacefully had police asked.

Brookhaven police arrested 48-year-old George Frank Roach at his Osborne Road home Feb. 12, some 10 hours after they arrived to serve a search and arrest warrant on a domestic violence charge.

Roach, a dentist with a practice in Norcoss, was booked on nearly a dozen charges.

Authorities recovered a cache of firearms and ammunition from his home, but attorney Justin Spizman said the situation could have been avoided.

“When I learned of the allegations against him, I reached out to detectives in the Brookhaven Police Department and offered to arrange to turn in Dr. Roach to the DeKalb County jail once the warrants were issued,” Spizman said Wednesday. “The Brookhaven Police Department represented to us that they would advise us if and when warrants (were) issued. Unfortunately, that never happened.”

Brookhaven police said they weren’t aware of any such arrangement, adding that Roach had hours to surrender when authorities arrived at his home but chose not to.

“It sounds kind of hokey to me. He could have just walked to the door when the SWAT team called him,” Maj. Donald Chase said. “The SWAT team’s policy is to make contact with an individual and have them come out peacefully.”

About three weeks before he allegedly hid from officers in his house, Roach forced his girlfriend onto a bathroom floor and shot at her with a rifle — once to the left of her head and once to the right — according to a Brookhaven police incident report. He is also accused of shooting the woman’s iPhone and assaulting her with his hands, causing multiple visible scars. She said Roach then made her clean up her blood from the walls and floors.

According to the report, the woman told police “she feared for her life” and had enough of the physical and mental abuse. 

Roach is charged with five counts of obstruction and one count each of false imprisonment, criminal damage to property, family violence battery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and cocaine possession, jail records show.

He was released from the DeKalb jail Saturday night after posting a $100,000 bond.

Spizman said Roach is complying with the terms and conditions of his release and that they intend to contest the charges.  

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