Bullet hits patrol car; situation otherwise quiet at Cherry Tree

Violence continued in Augusta's Cherry Tree Crossing housing project Monday night when a deputy’s patrol car was hit with a bullet.

The incident appeared isolated,however, and police said the area has been generally quiet since Sunday when an angry crowd of as many as 200 lobbed rocks and bottles at police following the shooting of a 23-year-old fleeing drug suspect.

According to reports provided this morning, Cpl. Charles Benson was patrolling in the 1600 block of McCauley Street at 11:30 p.m. when he heard five or six gunshots. The deputy then heard a thump in the rear of his vehicle where a bullet struck the license plate, the report said.

The Sheriff’s Office along with Georgia State Patrol troopers, increased their presence in the area and many police vehicles could be seen riding through the neighborhood late into Monday evening.

Sunday's angry protest came after Justin Elmore was shot in a stolen SUV after allegedly ramming a police cruiser.

He remains in critical condition today at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, law enforcement authorities said, although hospital spokeswomen deny having a record of him there.

The two deputies, Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge, have been placed on administrative duty pending a Georgia Bureau of Investigation review of the case.

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