A man was arrested Tuesday after being involved in a hit-and-run that injured a beloved crossing guard as he helped a high school student get across a road in Decatur the previous day, police said.
Alrahman Heath was booked into the DeKalb County Jail after his vehicle was located around 4 p.m. by officers in the 300 block of West Howard Avenue, which is about a mile from the crash site. The 38-year-old is facing charges of hit-and-run and failure to yield to a pedestrian.
“Thank you to everyone who provided tips and information in this case, and especially to a very brave Decatur High School student who provided a detailed description of the suspect vehicle,” police said.
Just before 8:20 a.m. Monday, as students were making their way to class, police were called to the intersection of South Candler Street and East College Avenue about the crash. The tight-knit community is home to several schools, including Agnes Scott College, Decatur High School and Beacon Hill Middle School.
According to authorities, the crossing guard, identified as 69-year-old Jeffery Smith, went into the busy intersection after he determined it was safe to walk the student across South Candler. At that point, the driver of a red sedan turned right onto the road from East College and failed to yield. The car struck the guard in the back and the driver left the scene, police said.
Smith was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. On Tuesday morning, police said he was released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
“He is extremely dedicated to keeping our kids safe here within the City of Decatur,” the department wrote on social media. “Please keep Mr. Smith in your thoughts and prayers while he continues to grow in strength.”
This story was first reported by the news site Decaturish.
The Decatur Police Department employs the city’s crossing guards, City Schools of Decatur spokesperson Courtney Burnett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“All of our crossing guards show an un-parallel commitment to the safe arrival and departure of students all around the city each day,” police added.
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