Southside Steve, Johns Creek police bury the hatchet

Atlanta radio host “Southside” Steve Rickman poses for a photo with the Johns Creek police officer who pulled him over for running a red light, Phil Nguyen.
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Atlanta radio host “Southside” Steve Rickman poses for a photo with the Johns Creek police officer who pulled him over for running a red light, Phil Nguyen.

The low temperature in Johns Creek on Friday was 44 degrees, which left an underdressed Atlanta radio host very cold.

In attempt to end his beef with the Johns Creek Police Department, "Southside" Steve Rickman of Rock 100.5's Bailey and Southside show, stood at the corner of Medlock Bridge Road and State Bridge Road Friday morning, collecting donations for Special Olympics Johns Creek and holding a sign that read "I am not the smartest fellow, I thought the light was yellow."

Rickman was also wearing very short shorts and a tight shirt, resembling an officer from the satirical Comedy Central television show, Reno 911.

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"By the way, Steve does not look good in that Reno police uniform," said Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker, who was at the corner with Rickman, police captain Chris Byers and officer Phil Nguyen for a Facebook Live.

Rickman was pulled over near the intersection Saturday for running a red light. Rickman began broadcasting the stop on Facebook Live, arguing that the light was yellow. The post went viral, prompting Johns Creek police to post a dashcam photo to its Facebook page, showing that Rickman did in fact run a red light.

“Johns Creek will fight back on Facebook,” Rickman said. “Watch what you do.”

At the beginning of a Facebook Live broadcast that started at 7 a.m. on Friday, Rickman shook hands, exchanged laughs and hugged Nguyen, the officer who pulled him over.

“This is your fault, man!” Rickman said with a laugh. “This is the guy that arrested me right here, we’re on Facebook Live, not his fault. He didn’t arrest me, he ticketed me for running a yellow and the light was red, huh? When I came across the intersection?”

“Yes sir,” Nguyen said.

“Who knew?” Rickman said with a shrug. “You win.”

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Rickman had Byers and Bodker on his radio show this week, and after studying the photo Johns Creek police posted on Facebook, he admitted his guilt.

“I see the picture, I see what’s going, and finally I just said, ‘I’m guilty,’” Rickman said. “The light had changed, regardless of what I saw — which I did see yellow, I wasn’t fibbing — but I didn’t clear it. It was red. I’m not going to fight it in court.”

Rickman said his co-host, Jason Bailey, stayed on his case about the incident though, because he had given Johns Creek’s police force so much grief. Bailey told Rickman he owed Johns Creek some payback.

So, the show put this out to their fans, and the listeners came up with the idea of Rickman wearing a “Reno 911” costume and holding a sign, publicly admitting his guilt.

But how long would Rickman stay out there? Another listener chimed in and suggested that, since Rickman was bragging about how many views his first Facebook Live got, he should stay out on the corner until he passed that mark.

Sporting the short shorts and tight shirt in low temperatures, Rickman pledged to stay at the intersection and collect donations until the Facebook Live reached 11,000 views. At 11 a.m., the post was viewed more than 22,000 times, had 169 shares, more than 1,500 likes and 906 comments.

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“It was all decided by our listeners,” Rickman said. “The Reno 911 thing was pretty funny, but wearing that outfit was rough. I froze my butt off this morning, wearing that skimpy little outfit.”

Rickman said in the three hours he was standing near the intersection, he collected about $1,000 in donations for Special Olympics Johns Creek.

The ticket he was given Saturday comes with three points. Rickman said he’s going to pay the fine, but he hopes that Johns Creek does him “a solid” on the points.

“I think I learned a lesson out of all of this, I truly did,” Rickman said. “The past 72 hours or so since this really blew up on me, I’ve come across probably 12 or 13 yellow lights, and last week I probably would’ve driven through them. Now I’m stopping. And people at work have stopped me and said, ‘Man, I come to a yellow light now, and I think of you, and I stop.’ So, maybe there was a good reason that this happened.”

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Steve Rickman — "Southside Steve" on Atlanta's "Rock 100.5" — was pulled over Saturday. Rickman said the light was yellow. Johns Creek Police say it was red. Police posted a photo backing up their side of the story. “I swear it was yellow. It had just turned yellow, so it’s actually kind of ridiculous,” Rickman said. He was charged with a violation of obedience to traffic control devices.