CLARKE COUNTY, Ga. - The mother of a man who was hit by a police car said Monday morning that the Athens-Clarke County officer never should have driven into him, although her son said he should not have run.
"I am relieved that he was fired,” Tammy Brown-Patmon, mother of Timmy Patmon, told Channel 2 Action News. “Justice was served.”
That was before Officer Taylor Saulters was hired Monday afternoon by the neighboring Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office.
Saulters’ Marietta-based attorney, Philip Holloway, confirmed that his client “received multiple offers of employment and is now again back at work in law enforcement.”
“This is a testament to the fact that seasoned veteran law enforcement officials recognize the lawfulness of my client’s actions and the injustice of his termination,” Holloway’s statement to Channel 2 Action News said.
Body-camera video shows Timmy Patmon running from Athens-Clarke County police Friday. Patmon was on probation and had felony warrants out for his arrest.
Officer Hunter Blackmon got out of the patrol car and chased Patmon, video showed. Saulters followed in the patrol car.
In his first attempt to apprehend Patmon, Saulters hit the curb and flattened a tire on his car. He then swerved toward Patmon and hit him.
Police Chief Scott Freeman fired Saulters after an internal investigation.
“The officer was very adamant that it wasn’t his intention to strike Mr. Patmon," Freeman said.
But the chief added, “The officer accelerates the vehicle, there is some wheel movement where it appears that steering wheel is being turned to strike Patmon.”
Patmon was taken to a hospital and was eventually turned over to the Clarke County jail. He suffered only scrapes and bruises.
Saulters’ attorney said the internal investigation is “not reflective of the truth. This was not a ‘use of deadly force’ incident. It was incidental contact, caused in large measure by the unlawful actions of a fleeing fugitive felon, including his erratic movements while in flight, following a burst front tire which hindered (Saulters’) ability to control his patrol car.
“Under the totality of the circumstances Officer Salters’ actions were objectively reasonable.”
Patmon, who has been charged with obstruction of an officer, had his first court appearance Saturday. His bond was set at $1,500.
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