Report: Roswell cop accused of violence affected by Hazelwood murders

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Police Officer Allegedly Drank 10 Beers, Threw Shoes At Kids Before Thanksgiving Arrest

This story was updated with significant details on Dec. 1.

A Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy drew his gun on a Roswell police officer on Thanksgiving when he responded to a domestic dispute at the officer’s Woodstock home.

Chad Harris, a sergeant with the Roswell Police Department, was arrested early Thanksgiving morning and charged with simple battery, battery and two counts of cruelty to children. He was released from a Cherokee County jail on $4,500 bond and placed on administrative leave from the Roswell Police Department.

An incident report from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reveals new details about the arrest. According to the report, Harris drank 10 beers, threw shoes at his children and left scratch marks on his wife’s neck. His wife told police that Harris has been drinking more and has been more physical with her since he investigated the murder of two teens in Roswell more than a year ago.

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Deputies arrived at Harris’ home in Woodstock at 1:41 a.m. on Nov. 23 after his son called 911, according to the report. When deputies arrived, they could hear two people arguing, “screams,” “bangs” and “thumps” coming from inside the home.

When the deputies approached to enter the home, the front door was flung open by a woman later identified as Harris’ wife, and “it looked as if (Harris) was pushing her through the front door,” according to the deputies’ report. A deputy wrote in the report that the “surprise” from the door being flung open coupled with the bangs and screams influenced the deputy to draw his weapon and aim at Harris.

The deputies told Harris to get on the ground, and they put him in handcuffs when he did, according to the report. This is when Harris told the deputies he was a sergeant within the Roswell Police Department.

According to the report, Harris’ wife told police that “ever since Chad was involved in a murder investigation of two teens in Roswell, he has drank heavily, and has been more physical” with her in the past year. She also told police that earlier this year, she walked in on Harris who was holding a weapon and a struggle ensued. The weapon was never pointed at her, she told police, but believed it was a “self-harm” incident.

The murder referenced happened on Aug. 1, 2016, when Jeffrey Andrew Hazelwood shot and killed Natalie Henderson and Carter Davis behind the King Plaza Publix. Hazelwood was sentenced to life in prison without parole in May.

The report on the inicident involving Harris and his family notes that two victims, a 42-year-old and a 17-year-old, had visible injuries and were given medical attention. Harris told deputies he never touched his wife, but admitted to throwing the shoes.

According to the report, Harris told deputies he was a 15-year law enforcement veteran and that the arrest would "ruin his career."
At the time of Harris' arrest, Roswell police chief Rusty Grant said Harris was placed on administrative leave with pay while the department conducted its own investigation.

Correction: The original version of this story omitted some information from the police report.

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