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Grand jury indicts driver charged with hitting officer

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — A Clayton County grand jury has indicted a Hampton man in the alleged hit and run of a police officer in December.

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Thomas Paige

Thomas Areeco Paige, 36, of Knotty Pine Place in Hampton is being held without bond in the crash that seriously injured Clayton County police Officer Michael Hooks. He faces more than 150 years in prison if convicted on all 14 counts in the indictment, said Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

Lawson said he was indicted late Wednesday afternoon on charges of aggravated assault with intent to murder, four counts of aggravated battery on a police officer, two counts of aggravated assault on two other police officers, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, burglary, hit and run, obstruction of an officer, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and loitering or prowling.

Paige’s alleged co-defendant, Jabari Akil Jackson, was indicted for burglary, obstruction of an officer, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and loitering or prowling. Jackson is out on bond.

According to Georgia Department of Corrections, Paige has a long criminal history. He was most recently paroled in 2009 after serving two years for burglary, false report of a crime, loitering, possession of tools to commit a crime and obstruction of an officer.

His prior prison terms were four months in 2001, a year from 2002 until 2003 and two years from 2004 until 2006. His prior convictions include theft by receiving stolen property and interference with government property.

Police said the pair were stealing metal from behind an abandoned building and Hooks was hit as part of the team responding to suspicious activity.

Hooks had recently returned to work after being treated for cancer when police said Paige hit him with his car. Hooks attended the first Clayton County Board of Commissioners meeting of 2013 in January in a wheelchair. He’s since had surgery and participated in last week’s 12th Annual Lifesaving Awards ceremony sponsored by Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services.

Wearing braces on both legs, Hooks walked to the front during the ceremony to a standing ovation.