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Georgia sheriff hires officer fired after hitting suspect with his patrol car

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(Athens-Clarke County Police Department)

OGLETHORPE COUNTY, Ga. – A rookie Georgia police officer fired over the weekend after bodycam footage showed him striking a suspect fleeing on foot with his patrol car has a new job in law enforcement, reported Fox News.

Taylor Saulters, who was fired Friday by Athens-Clarke County Police Department, was hired Monday by the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office. He will serve as a deputy, reports said.

So once fired, twice hired you might say?

“If his name sounds familiar it is probably due to the fact that he was recently terminated by ACCPD for an incident where a fleeing felon struck his patrol car while he was attempting to apprehend him,” Oglethorpe Sheriff David Gabriel said on Facebook.

“In talking to Saulters the first question he asked was if our citizens supported law enforcement,” he said. “Without hesitation I assured him they did and that we have excellent people that live in our county. I have no reservations about Dep. Saulters serving this community.”

Gabriel is not hiring a stranger. “I have known him since he was a baby,” he said in the Facebook post. As a result, Gabriel said he’s confident that Saulters will be a great asset to the county.

Oglethorpe County borders Athens.

Georgia police officer
Officer Taylor Saulters (Athens-Clarke County Police Department)

Saulters was accused in an internal affairs summary report of using excessive force when he hit Timmy Patmon, 24, with his patrol car, the Athens Banner-Herald reported Monday.

The report found that Saulters “used poor judgment in using his patrol vehicle as a means to apprehend a fleeing suspect,” according to the paper.

“Had the suspect committed an offense that would have warranted the use of deadly force, Officer Saulters’ actions may have been objectively reasonable and would have been evaluated under such facts,” the report said, according to the paper.

“There are no facts that were uncovered that would have led to the justification of this level of use of force in this incident.”

Georgia police officer
Image from bodycam video showing Timmy Patmon, 23, being handcuffed after being struck by a patrol car driven by Officer Taylor Saulters in east Athens, Georgia. (Athens-Clarke County Police Department)

The report said Saulters stated he was only trying to cut off Patmon’s escape path and “never intended to hit Patmon” or use “the vehicle as a weapon,” the paper reported.

Apparently Gabriel is unconcerned about baggage that Saulters may bring with him regarding the use of force incident.

Patmon, who was the subject of an outstanding warrant for a probation violation, was jailed after being treated for scrapes and bruises.

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