A Georgia man in state prison walked away from a work detail in east Athens earlier this week and has since been arrested after allegedly beating a Gwinnett police officer in the head and face with his own baton.
25-year-old David Gill is said to have fled the work detail Monday.
He’s serving a sentence after a conviction in Clayton County on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He isn’t scheduled for release until February of 2018.
A Gwinnett officer assigned to the East Precinct noticed a man, later identified as Gill, walking down the highway carrying a duffle bag just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Officers had responded to a burglary attempt at a nearby business the day before.
â€œWith that in mind, the officer attempted to make contact with the male,â€ Gwinnett police Cpl. Deon Washington said. â€œWhen the male saw the patrol car, he began running away.â€
The officer then caught up to him behind a building in the 2100 block of Village Broad Street.
â€œAs the officer attempted to gain control over the suspect, a physical altercation ensued and the officerâ€™s baton became dislodged from its scabbard,â€ Washington said. â€œThe suspect picked up the baton and struck the officer in the face several times.â€
The officer was bleeding badly, dizzy, and was having a difficult time seeing the suspect when the officer drew his service weapon and ordered him to the ground, according to Cpl. Washington.
â€œThe suspect immediately dropped the baton and sat on the ground,â€ he said. â€œWhen additional officers arrived at the location, the suspect was taken into custody.â€
Both the officer and Gill â€” who reportedly gave a false name and date of birth â€” were taken to Gwinnett Medical Center.
The officer is believed to have received a concussion and required 10 staples in his head. He was released from the hospital early Wednesday.
Mr. Gill was treated for a cut on his hand and released.
â€œGill threw a rock through a store window, used a pipe to clear the glass, and then climbed through the window,â€ Washington said. â€œHe ultimately stole several cartons of cigarettes and lighters before fleeing the store.â€
He was booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center on burglary, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, and other charges.
â€œThis case is a clear illustration of the inherent dangers that police officers face while protecting the life and property of the citizens in Gwinnett County,â€ Washington said.