Georgia deputies demoted after off-duty fistfight at restaurant

Two Hall County sheriff’s deputies have been demoted after they got into a fistfight — in which alcohol may have been involved — while at a conference in Columbus earlier this month, officials confirmed Thursday.

Lt. Joe Froover and Deputy Corey Gilleland were at a restaurant March 11 when they got into an argument and one of them threw a punch, Hall County Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said in a statement. The two men were off duty at the time.

Other officers dining with the men broke up the fight and the group left the restaurant, Wilbanks said. Gilleland sustained a minor injury.

The men were in town for a Georgia Tactical Officers Association conference. Wilbanks said the dinner was not an official function of the conference.

In addition to their demotions, the men were given unpaid suspensions, reassigned and removed from the department’s SWAT team.

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