A police officer has been fired from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department after he intentionally chased down a suspect in his squad car. According to Fox5 Atlanta, when the incident occurred, officer Taylor Saulters was chasing a fleeing suspect, now identified as Timothy “Timmy” Patmon. In a matter of seconds, the situation changed drastically due to an impulsive decision Saulters made that ultimately cost him his job. Now, the incriminating dashcam footage and a Facebook post of the incident are going viral.
On Saturday, June 2, the police department released the dashcam footage of the June 1 incident. The video begins with Saulters chasing Patmon fleeing on foot. Initially, there is no audio so it is unclear why Patmon was being chased but arrest records later indicated that Patmon was “wanted on a felony probation warrant,” according to ABC News. As the video continues, Saulters is still in the squad car while his partner, officer Hunter Blackmon, also chases Patmon on foot. In the video, Saulters could initially be seen making a left turn to try and block Patmon, but to no avail. He managed to dodge the squad car and continue running up down the street. As Patmon continued to make his break, Saulters decided to steer the squad car to the right and that’s where he hit Patmon with the front of it. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has released a statement about the footage and the investigation into the incident.
*Warning: This dashcam footage may be disturbing or highly offensive to some viewers.*
According to the Athens, GA law enforcement agency, Saulters actions appear to be intentional which is why he’s been fired. “After reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, and all the other facts and circumstances of this case, Chief Scott Freeman terminated the employment of Officer Taylor Saulters,” said the statement from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
However, the situation didn’t stop there. After running Patmon down with the squad car, Saulters jumped out and threatened to take things even further.
Threatened While Subdued:
After Patmon rolled onto the hood of the car, he fell and hit the pavement. By this time, a group of bystanders had gathered around the Saulters and Blackmon as they subdued Patmon. “You didn’t have to hit that man like that,” an onlooker could be heard saying. However, that didn’t stop what happened next. Although Patmon was restrained and being held face down on the pavement by Blackmon, Saulters still threatened to tase him. “Give us your hands now, or you’re gonna get Tased,” Saulters can be heard saying. “Do you understand me? Make the right decision.”
Shortly after the incident occurred, a graphic video of the incident began circulating on Facebook. At that time, the police department released its first statement confirming that an investigation was underway.”We are aware of a Facebook post regarding an incident that occurred on Friday afternoon, June 1st, during a foot pursuit and the subsequent arrest of a subject by our officers. There have been some concerns, brought to us by the community, over the actions of our officers during this incident. Chief Freeman has initiated an internal affairs investigation, and the incident itself is being investigated by Georgia State Patrol. One officer has been placed on administrative leave while both the internal investigation and Georgia State Patrol investigation are underway.”
However, it didn’t take long for them to come to a conclusion.
Initially, Taylor Saulters was placed on administrative leave. Then, a day later, he was fired from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. “Athens police Chief Scott Freeman initially placed Saulters on administrative leave, initiated an internal affairs investigation, and requested that the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct independent investigations of the incident,” police said in a statement.
Timmy Patmon was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for minor scrapes and bruises. Then he was taken into custody and now faces charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer and violating probation.