By Linda Looney-Bond
Two Clayton County Sheriff's Office detention officers face disorderly conduct charges in Butts County, for allegedly driving 4-wheel, all-terrain vehicles (ATV's) illegally on a public road in Jackson, Aug. 1.
According to a Butts County Sheriff's Office incident report, Deputy Jason Taylor observed four ATV's traveling on Bert Road, crossing Highway 16, in Jackson, around 8:30 p.m., Aug. 1.
Clayton County detention officers, Lt. Robert Pauls and Officer Lee Williams were driving the 4-wheelers, along with Paul's daughter, Micah Pauls, 17, and another man, Danny Duffey, 39, of Jenkinsburg.
Pauls and his daughter stopped when the officer approached, and were issued citations at the scene, for disorderly conduct, according to the report.
However, Williams and Duffey "accelerated rapidly and refused to stop" when Taylor approached with lights and siren activated, the incident report states.
Butts County deputies arrested Duffey at his home nearby, according to the report. Duffey was charged with disorderly conduct and misdemeanor obstruction, Butts County Sheriff Gene Pope said Thursday.
Williams, who was not apprehended at the scene, turned himself in to the Butts County Jail Aug. 2. He was booked into the jail, and charged with disorderly conduct, the report states.
Both Williams and Duffey were later released from the jail on bond, according to jail officials.
Robert Pauls, Micah Pauls and Duffey were issued summons to appear in Butts County Magistrate Court on September 17, according to court records. It was not clear what court date had been set for Williams.
"You cannot operate it [ATV] on any public-maintained road, or its right of way, including the shoulder," said Pope. "It doesn't matter if it's dirt or paved, if it's county-maintained, you can't drive a 4-wheeler on it," he said.
Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said he is aware of the incident and is reserving judgment for now. "The incident is under investigation, as far as my agency is concerned," said Kimbrough. "We haven't received the full facts. It will be reviewed.
"Obviously I want my officers to uphold the law," Kimbrough said. "As of now, they're on full duty. They've not been placed on any administrative leave or anything."
Pope said he can appreciate that, in the end, the Clayton County detention officers "did what they were supposed to do," "The Lieutenant [Pauls] - as soon as he saw the officer behind him - he stopped," said Pope.
"The one that turned himself in the next day [Williams], could have made us go find him, but he turned himself in," Pope said.