Man found guilty of running over Clayton County cop, fleeing scene

The man accused of hitting and critically injuring a Clayton County police officer with his truck was found guilty Friday on 12 charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer.

Thomas Areeco Paige, now 38, of Hampton, faced 14 charges, including aggravated assault, aggravated battery, obstruction of an officer, hit-and-run and reckless driving stemming from a 2012 arrest. A Clayton County jury convicted him on 12 charges.

Officer Michael Hooks was hit by a pickup truck driven by Paige when he and a second police officer arrived at the scene of a suspected robbery, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Paige and a second man were allegedly trying to steal metal in the parking lot of a Kmart distribution center when Hooks and another officer arrived at the scene.

Paige’s truck crashed into a ditch and his alleged partner was caught. Paige was arrested in Duluth a week later following a massive manhunt and Hook sustained a serious head injury.

Hook is back to work, according to Clayton police spokeswoman JaQuitta Williams.

Paige’s attorney, Fred Jones, argued that hitting Hooks was an accident, however, Chief Clayton County Superior Court Judge Debra Benefield called Paige a “menace to society” and sentenced him to more than 170 years in prison, according to Clayton County police.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.