News |   Obits |   Sports |   Business |   Opinion |   Things to Do |   Life |   Blogs |   Photos |   Video |   Data |   Jobs |   Homes |   Autos |   Buy/Sell


Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Man accused of causing Georgia Regents University public safety officer to shock himself

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:09 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:44 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

The courtroom filled with screams Tuesday as jurors listened to recordings of what happened the night a Georgia Regents University police officer stopped Fredrick L. Gibbons on Wrightsboro Road.

According to the indictment returned nearly one year after the March 1, 2012, traffic stop, Gibbons was charged with felony obstruction. He is accused of causing Public Safety Officer Wesley Martin to shock himself with a stun gun.

Gibbons, 38, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a charge of obstruction of an officer. His trial continues today.

On the tapes played Tuesday, Gibbons screams in pain after Martin reaches through Gibbons’ driver’s side window and repeatedly zaps Gibbons with the stun gun while screaming at him to “open the door.”

Martin and other GRU officers who testified Tuesday said they were trained to use the stun gun but it wasn’t working on Gibbons because he wouldn’t open the car door. Martin denied knowing that the stun gun incapacitates a target so that he cannot control his limbs.

Martin said Gibbons rolled up the car window, trapping Martin’s hand and causing him to shock himself.

Martin testified he didn’t recognize Gibbons until he walked up to the vehicle.

Eighteen months earlier, Martin had pulled over Gibbons driving an unregistered vehicle. The charge was dismissed because Gibbons, a used car dealer, had a valid dealer’s paper tag. Gibbons filed a formal complaint against Martin.

Martin told the jury Tues­day that he pulled Gibbons over March 1, 2012, because there was no tag on the vehicle. But defense attorney Victor Hawk played a tape recording Tuesday during which the dispatch operator is told the Lincoln has a paper tag.

The director of the tax commissioner’s license tags division testified that it is legal for a person to drive on a dealer’s paper tag.

Comments (50) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
v4vendetta
246
Points
v4vendetta 07/10/13 - 01:15 am
8
2
Shock himself?

Rewrite the article. Sounds like you're saying officer shocks himself, but the citizen was shocked. Sounds like these two had a history... But again the article could have made that more clear...

v4vendetta
246
Points
v4vendetta 07/10/13 - 01:18 am
10
1
Or was it gibbons who was zapped???

So gibbons is supposed to open window and let himself be tasered? Last taser incident resulted in a fatality to citizen... I'm confused

TrulyWorried
12323
Points
TrulyWorried 07/10/13 - 01:19 am
8
1
Taser trial

Say it isn't so!!! I have read of some weird ones, but this???

v4vendetta
246
Points
v4vendetta 07/10/13 - 01:22 am
11
0
Too much tasering

Excuse me sir you're a gru cop... Keep you're tasing to a minimum especially for traffic violations..

v4vendetta
246
Points
v4vendetta 07/10/13 - 01:29 am
9
1
Courtroom filled with screams?

Screams from the taped incident or gasps from jurors? If it makes one scream in such agony maybe due consideration ought to be used before implementing such action.

myfather15
50328
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 05:31 am
11
1
v4vendetta

Due regard is suppose to be utilized before deploying the taser anyway. That's why officers and deputies must get shot with it before they can carry it. So that we will know the effects and that USUALLY makes officers with common sense use it ONLY when needed.

myfather15
50328
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 05:44 am
10
2
First of all

I'm not trying to pass judgement on this case, as I wasn't there and certainly don't have all the details from this article. Mr. Gibbons could have been resisting more than the article indicates, but I don't know.
But this case certainly doesn't sound good!!

Having said that; If Officer Martin said this "Martin denied knowing that the stun gun incapacitates a target so that he cannot control his limbs."

I would immediately fire him for incompetence!! Any moron with half common sense knows a person can't open a car door while getting shocked!! This officer doesn't have the common sense intelligence to be in this line of work.

GRU, do you not make your officers get shot with a taser before carrying them? Every other agency does, so I suspect that you do as well. If this guy went through that training, which Taser International, highly suggests, then he should know a person can't open a door while getting tased!!! Again, if this is the case, this officer is someone who doesn't have the right reasoning for this job.

But, keep in mind; there are questions not being answered. The officer may not have shot Mr. Gibbons with the taser, just touched him with it. You can use it both ways. If he was just touching him with it; maybe he would touch him for just a second, take it off him, then command him to open the door, if Mr. Gibbons wouldn't comply, he would touch him with it again.

carcraft
24350
Points
carcraft 07/10/13 - 05:51 am
9
0
Well at what point can't the

Well at what point can't the person respond?

Dixieman
13109
Points
Dixieman 07/10/13 - 09:31 am
11
1
Hey, I saw this!

It was a scene from a Three Stooges movie that was on TV last Saturday morning!
Or maybe it was an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon....

nocnoc
38780
Points
nocnoc 07/10/13 - 06:32 am
12
1
From what I can figure out after reading it twice.

Based on the article as written at Tuesday, July 9, 2013 11:09 PM
Last updated Wednesday, July 10, 2013 4:08 AM

SOUNDS LIKE A LAWSUIT AN TERMINATION IS COMING. an this trial is an attempt to head it off.

#1 Aggressor and the Defendant have a History in which the safety officer screwed up previously also.

#2 "Martin denied knowing that the stun gun incapacitates a target so that he cannot control his limbs." So obviously he was NOT properly trained or was enjoying shocking the hell out of someone.

Summary
The way the article is written and the limited facts presented, I have to side with the driver more than the campus safety officer here.

President AZZZiZZZZ MCG SO's now has a serious PR issue to address.

Too many mistakes and a clear demonstration of either a lack of training or a person that got through the psychological sadist profile filter. Maybe the GBI IA needs to be called in to audit the units training and operations.

If ANYONE (LEO or THUG), was reaching in my car window and repeatedly zapping/tapping shocking me with a STUN GUN. If I could,I'd be rolling the window up to protect myself, if I felt innocent. Then immediately get on 911 to document it.

QUESTIONS:
Does Tapping vs. Zapping leave the same tell-tale burn marks?

Do MCG SO's have authority on ARC non-campus streets, or is this a street with shared jurisdiction? Can MCG safety officers issue traffic tickets like speeding and tag violations on ARC streets that surround MCG?

How long has this safety (stun gun happy) officer been in uniform?

Was there ever any indication that the defendant was going to flee or had attempted to flee? Or was the defendant just moving to slow for the SO?

rebellious
20220
Points
rebellious 07/10/13 - 06:54 am
9
0
Chees and Chong's

sign zee papers, olt man......

Jason Hasty
145
Points
Jason Hasty 07/10/13 - 07:02 am
9
1
during which Gibbons tells the dispatch operator that he was pul

Wouldn't that be Martin telling dispatch?

GnipGnop
11543
Points
GnipGnop 07/10/13 - 07:21 am
12
3
This sure smacks...

of a retribution stop instead of a lawful stop. This kind of gestapo stuff needs to stop. I have no problem pulling over and handing over my DL and registration but being ordered out of my car could cause me to violate my 5th amendment right against self incrimination. If I know I am sober and I am pulled over by a police officer with an attitude (and yes there are good and bad ones) why should I have to exit my car if I have done nothing wrong? I have had this happen to me when I was a teenager. I was made to follow 2 city police officers to the scene of a strong arm robbery to see if the victim could identify me...if this happened now I would refuse. BTW my only crime? I was white in a predominantly black area after leaving work downtown.

Swatbad
448
Points
Swatbad 07/10/13 - 07:22 am
15
1
Why are MCG Cops pulling over cars for tag violations?

Why are the MCG/GRU cops pulling cars over for tag violations instead of focusing on campus safety? It seems to me common sense would have MCG cops reports suspicious cars to RCBOE and then continue checking on more pressing campus related activity. ALSO, WHO is writing these misleading and difficult to decipher articles???

Adam Bomb
349
Points
Adam Bomb 07/10/13 - 07:30 am
14
0
GRU Cops. Dejavu Gestapo!

These guys seem to be getting on a power trip lately. Pulled me over because the light turned yellow while waiting to turn left onto 15th street. Didn't give me a ticket but I had to sit for nearly eight minutes while he sat in his car talking on the radio. My advice; leave people on the public streets alone and stick to on campus crime. We do have a Sheriff's department you know.

myfather15
50328
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 07:35 am
4
2
Nocnoc

It's actually called "Shooting" vs "Drive stun" method. When shooting the taser it deploys two barbs (similar to fish hooks, but straight) attached to electrical wires, that go into the body and are suppose to hold in place. If you acheive good seperation between the two barbs, it completely incapacitates the suspect, locking his mucles up!! This method is NOT pain compliance!!

With the "drive stud" method, you simply touch the front of the taser to the person, which does NOT lock his muscles up. This method IS pain compliance!! They feel the shock in THAT area where you are touching, but not throughout the body!! It's quite possible to still fight or resist with the drive stun method. As a matter of fact, I've used the drive stun method on fighting suspects and I don't personally like it. Why? Because it does NOT lock them down but sometimes makes them go "ballistic" and they seem to struggle harder!!

The drive stun method is no different than pepper spray, in that it's a pain compliance method! Trying to get the person to stop resisting by causing pain, but NOT injury; there is a big difference in pain and injury!!

Both methods often times leave visible marks!!

CobaltGeorge
150917
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/10/13 - 08:18 am
3
2
Too Many Questions.

The only way I would make a comment on this one, is if I sat through the entire trial.

Sean Moores
832
Points
Sean Moores 07/10/13 - 08:40 am
5
0
@ Jason Hasty 7:02

I think you are right. I will contact the reporter and get that fixed.

thauch12
6204
Points
thauch12 07/10/13 - 09:20 am
11
2
What a travesty...

Felony obstruction? Because the cop was too dumb to know how use a taser correctly or because the man was trying to defend himself from an egotistical maniac on a power trip? This clearly demonstrates there is no IQ test in the GRU rent a cop recruitment process.

This is just another example of what happens when you give an uneducated bumpkin some authority, a badge, and a weapon. I won't go so far as to say this speaks for all cops, but this certainly looks bad on the part of the law enforcement community in general.

Riverman1
79742
Points
Riverman1 07/10/13 - 09:23 am
10
3
Did He Volunteer at Azziz Wedding?

The GRU cop will be okay if he was one of those who volunteered at the Azziz wedding.

Little Lamb
44018
Points
Little Lamb 07/10/13 - 09:33 am
9
1
History

First, we learn that the driver filed a complaint against the officer 18 months before this incident. You can make a case for retaliation by the officer against his complainant. Then, we learn this:

Martin told the jury Tues­day that he pulled Gibbons over March 1, 2012, because there was no tag on the vehicle. But defense attorney Victor Hawk played a tape recording Tuesday during which Gibbons tells the dispatch operator that he was pulling over a Lincoln with a paper tag. The director of the tax commissioner’s license tags division testified that it is legal for a person to drive on a dealer’s paper tag.

The judge should issue a directed verdict of acquittal.

Little Lamb
44018
Points
Little Lamb 07/10/13 - 09:39 am
10
2
License Tags?

The streets running through the maze of buildings we affectionately call "MCG" are public streets. I'm with Swatbad and Adam Bomb up above: Groooo officials should promptly tell the Groooo cops to stick to campus safety and not stop traffic for expired license tags, broken tail lights, suspicion of dark window tint, loud stereo speakers, etc.

LLArms
470
Points
LLArms 07/10/13 - 09:53 am
7
2
Nice to see the thin blue

Nice to see the thin blue line thuggery is now infesting wannabe campus cops.

Riverman1
79742
Points
Riverman1 07/10/13 - 10:03 am
6
1
This would be funny if the

This would be funny if the poor driver hadn't been tazed so much.

Frank I
1158
Points
Frank I 07/10/13 - 10:12 am
7
2
FOIA

Can we get a copy of the dash cam video for this incident? It would be worth the buttered popcorn watch..

Fiat_Lux
14853
Points
Fiat_Lux 07/10/13 - 10:45 am
4
5
MCG cops are GA State Highway Patrol LEOs

They are highly trained and definitely not wanabees by any stretch of the imagination. They aren't the parking peeps, and those of us who work at MCG know not to mess around with them. In fact, we tend to be quite happy to have them around as they are the ones that protect us from the really rotten people who prey on visitors and employees, and will shoot prisoners dead who try to escape while being treated there.

Given the number of people who have been hit and maimed or killed by cars, etc, while walking across roads through the campus, the MCG police are vigilant and proactive regarding traffic violations. Gibbons must not have know about that.

Based only on the story as written above, I am wondering how Gibbons, if he was so very incapacitated, managed to roll his window up on the officer's hand, even if it was an electric window. If he could do that, it seems like he could have screamed "Ok".

soapy_725
43555
Points
soapy_725 07/10/13 - 10:41 am
0
0
Rent A Cops. Danger. Danger. Danger Will Robinson!!!!!!
Unpublished

Rent A Cops. Danger. Danger. Danger Will Robinson!!!!!!

Little Lamb
44018
Points
Little Lamb 07/10/13 - 10:43 am
7
0
Crime

I think I have to agree with countyman. Augusta crime rates must be very low to have our District Attorney invest the time and money to seek this felony conviction when the evidence points to a Kampus Kop with a grudge vendetta against Gibbons going too far on a possible license plate violation (which turns out that the license plate violation is bogus).

I hope the judge issues a censure against the ADA for frivolous prosecution.

myfather15
50328
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 11:14 am
5
5
" I won't go so far as to say

" I won't go so far as to say this speaks for all cops, but this certainly looks bad on the part of the law enforcement community in general."

It only looks bad to law enforcement "in general" to narrow minded people who don't have the common sense to realize EVERY profession, where hundreds of people are employed; will have bad seeds!! Blame the INDIVIDUAL, not the group!!!

myfather15
50328
Points
myfather15 07/10/13 - 11:21 am
3
5
There have been financial

There have been financial advisors con people out of money; so let's do away with ALL of them.

There have been Pastor's steal money from the Church and sleep with women of the congregation; so let's do away with all of them!! (liberals might like this one a little too much)

There have been Cable network repair guys, go to homes and expose themselves or sexually assault women; lets do away with all of them!!

There have been secretaries steal from their bosses; let's do away with all of them!!

There have been teachers sleep with students; lets do away with all of them!!

There have been politicians steal, cheat on taxes, commit adultry and more; lets do away with all of them. (I might like this idea a little too much)

There have been day care workers abuse children physically and sexually; let's do away with all of them!!

Do I really need to go on? That's about how much sense it makes to blame ALL law enforcement for ONE IDIOTS actions.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs