With few words and wet eyes, members of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office delivered Deputy James D. Paugh’s motorcycle to a new home at the Augusta Museum of History on Friday morning.
A short police motorcade escorted the slain officer’s motorcycle to the museum, where family members and his closest buddies from the police squad parted ways with the bike.
Paugh was fatally shot Oct. 23 when he stopped to investigate a suspicious vehicle.
The Harley-Davidson was unloaded from a trailer outside the museum’s front doors then gently rolled through the building’s atrium and to the gallery, where it will become part of a new exhibit on local law enforcement history.
Deputy Shane Bailey polished the motorcycle with a white cloth. He had spent two full days cleaning his close friend’s bike before his friend’s funeral and one day preparing it for the museum. Paugh’s father, Wayne Paugh, gave the motorcycle a final rubdown.
“What happened to J.D. is just part of history now,” said his older brother Bobby Paugh, who had not seen the bike since the October funeral. “I can’t imagine that anyone else would want to ride it.”
Sheriff’s officials considered displaying the motorcycle at the law enforcement center but knew the museum could preserve it better, Capt. Scott Gay said.