By Ed Brock
Andrea Sloan says she was just talking to friends in front of her Riverdale apartment during her 18th birthday party when an angry Frank Usher confronted her.
"He just came and hit me on the face with his finger," Sloan said.
That incident, described to police by several witnesses including Sloan, led to 43-year-old Usher's arrest around 7:25 p.m. Sunday night on a charge of simple assault, Riverdale police Officer Debra Johnson said. There was no indication that Usher did more than poke Sloan in the face with a finger, Johnson added, but that would be enough to qualify as simple assault.
"No contact, that's where we draw the line," Johnson said.
Johnson also said that Usher is a former Riverdale police officer who was terminated on March 18 after failing to successfully complete the year-long probation period for new officers. He was hired in May 2002.
Usher's wife said the arrest is a reprisal for her husband's challenge to his termination and his complaints of racial discrimination against the department. Johnson denied that.
According to jail intake information Usher currently works with campus police at Morehouse College in Atlanta and he is the courtesy officer for Noble Oaks Apartments, the complex where the incident occurred.
The rules of the complex do prohibit people from standing in front of the apartment and talking, Sloan's mother Juanita Sloan said. Juanita Sloan said she did not witness this particular event as she had gone to the store for ice cream.
However, she said she has had conflicts with Usher before and she said that he singles out her children for enforcement of other rules in the complex such as riding bicycles.
"Mr. Usher has a problem with me and my family," Sloan said.
Andrea Sloan said she didn't say anything to Usher to provoke the confrontation and Usher put his finger in her face soon after he came from the apartment where he lives across the parking lot from the Sloan family.
Noble Oaks Manager Serena Harvey confirmed that Usher is the courtesy officer for the complex but said she could not comment otherwise.
Sloan said the complex management told her that Usher was being falsely accused. She's lived in the complex for about 12 or 13 years with Andrea and her other daughters, 13-year-old Angel, 4-year-old Aja and 1-year-old Adanca, Sloan said.
Morehouse College campus police did not return several phone calls seeking confirmation of Usher's status with the college.
Usher was still in Clayton County jail as of Monday afternoon and a $3,000 bond had been set for his release.