ATHENS, Georgia — A Georgia police department fired one of its officers after he drove his patrol car into a fleeing suspect, authorities said.
Officer Taylor Saulters was let go by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department after a review of his body cam showed how he attempted twice to knock the suspect down using his police car.
The episode began on June 1, when Saulters and his partner saw Timothy Patmon, who was wanted for probation violation. When he spotted the officers, Patmon fled, and Saulters began chasing him in his vehicle.
As Patmon veered left, the video showed Saulters speed up and try to cut him off, but bounce off a curb, flattening his front left tire, cops said.
Patmon then ran to the right, and Saulters hit the gas again and maneuvering the patrol car so that Patmon was knocked to the ground by the vehicle’s right front fender.
“Man, you hit me with your car!” Patmon then told Saulters, who asked if he was injured.
“I know what I did. Why’d you run?” Saulters replied.
Later, Saulters was recorded telling other officers that he “didn’t hit [Patmon] with the car, I blocked him with the car.”
Patmon requested medical treatment, and was later released with scrapes and bruises. He was then booked into Clarke County jail for violating his probation and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
Saulters was initially placed on administrative leave and later fired after an internal affairs investigation.
“This was not the kind of conduct we would expect from an Athens-Clarke County police officer,” Athens-Clarke police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez told the Athens Banner-Herald.