APD officer faces possible suspension after carrying rifle into Underground Atlanta

An Atlanta police officer faces suspension after allegedly flirting with vigilantism early Saturday morning at a popular late night club downtown.

Patrons at Underground Atlanta reported seeing a man, who did not identify himself as a police officer, toting an assault rifle into Scores bar and restaurant. APD colleagues cited Officer Donald Vickers for reckless conduct after a call was placed to 911, police spokesman Curtis Davenport said.

Vickers, placed on administrative leave, was not arrested but could be suspended pending a meeting with Chief George Turner, which could occur as early as Friday.

The four-year APD veteran had come to Underground to pick up his girlfriend, Davenport said. Before leaving, he interceded in a situation involving three young men being hauled away by security guards.

"They were giving the security guards a hard time," Davenport said. Vickers retrieved his AR-15 out of his car and pointed a flashlight to it so the rowdy patrons could see the weapon. The three men scampered away on foot, Davenport said.

Davenport said it's unclear whether the officer overstepped his authority. Officers are expected to respond if they witness a felony in progress. Otherwise, it's left up to the officer's discretion, the APD spokesman said.