By Daniel Silliman
She didn't see him fire the gun, but she heard the shot.
Kimberly Sue Mitchell, a Clayton County Code Enforcement Officer, was trying to inspect the trash in the front yard of 5805 Willamsburg Trace, in College Park. Police said that was when a 34-year-old man unleashed a pit bull and fired a gun. She heard the shot, looked up, and saw Ronnie Anterio Davis tucking a gun into his waist band.
"Why did you shoot at me?" she asked the man.
"Because you can't tell me what to do with my dog at my house," the man allegedly replied.
Clayton County Police responded to the code enforcer's 911 call at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday. They arrested Davis and told him they were going to search the residence.
Davis said he didn't know what was going on, according to the police report filed by Officer J. Williams. He also said he "was a two-time felon and didn't need this."
The officers searched the residence and found:
· A 9 mm semi-automatic handgun
· A .410-caliber shotgun with a pistol grip
· Two suspected ecstasy pills
· Nine small bags of suspected marijuana, weighting about 105 grams
· Twelve small bags of suspected crack cocaine, weighing about 26 grams
Davis, according to the report, said the suspected ecstasy was only for his personal use.
The officer checked the 34-year-old's wallet. He said he wasn't going to take Davis' $20 bill into evidence, but then Davis said that he should, according to the report.
Williams pulled out the bill, and realized it was counterfeit.
Davis was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of ecstasy, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during a commission of a felony, discharging a firearm near a highway, and forgery.
The county's code enforcement operation was placed under the direction of the police department in the beginning of May, to "add some teeth" to code enforcement. The county commission made the change with the hope of increasing code-enforcement follow-ups and enforcement efficiency. An added benefit would be the ability to back up the code enforcement employees.
Backing up the civilian code enforcers with sworn police officers might cause citizens to take the enforcers more seriously, according to Michael Edmondson, the county commissioner who sponsored the change.
"Code enforcement officers have a monumental job to do in the first place," said Police Chief Jeff Turner, when his office took over enforcement in May. "This just makes their job a little easier, where they're working with law enforcement."
On Thursday, Turner said the alleged shooting shows how dangerous code enforcement can be, and how important it is to have the police working with civilian officers.