The Rockmart Police Department requested the GBI to investigate a use of force incident involving one of their officers during the arrest of a 16 year old juvenile. The initial information provided to the GBI is that at approximately 11:30 PM a Rockmart Police Officer responded to a complaint of suspicious persons in a residential area on Lake Street in Rockmart. The officer began searching for the individuals and located a 16 year old juvenile hiding in the wooded area. The juvenile did not comply with the officer’s instructions to come out of the woods and reportedly became verbally combative and attempted to flee. The officer deployed his Taser striking the juvenile causing him to fall to the ground. The juvenile reportedly continued resisting the officer as he attempted to handcuff and arrest him. The officer reportedly deployed the Taser two more times before he was able to handcuff and gain control of the juvenile.
The juvenile had allegedly broken into cars and at the time of the arrest multiple items were seized that were suspected to come from the break-ins. The juvenile was taken to the Rockmart Police Department where he was checked out by EMTs. He was charged with obstruction, terroristic threats and acts, entering an auto, 2nd degree burglary, theft by receiving stolen property, and underage possession of alcohol.
At the juvenile’s mother’s request, he was taken to the Redmond Hospital Emergency Room for another medical evaluation. Upon being cleared by emergency room personnel, he was transported to the Rome Youth Detention Facility (YDC) where he is currently being held.
The GBI will conduct an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for any action they deem appropriate.