Sheriff says narcotic officers had been watching man for a month

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 5:42 AM
Last updated 8:34 PM
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[BEGINVIDEO 2187]

Nestor  Special
Special
Nestor

Video from the press conference.

[ENDVIDEO]

Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man while serving arrest warrants Tuesday night – the second fatal shooting by deputies in less than a week.

Three narcotics officers, Philip Hambrick, Jason Saal and Mike Swint, are on desk duty after shooting Michael Nestor, 30, multiple times after he tried to strike one of them with his car, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said in a press conference Wednesday morning.

The sheriff did not release photos of the officers, saying he didn’t want to jeopardize any ongoing cases. According to Sheriff Strength, the events unfolded this way:

The narcotics officers had been watching Mr. Nestor for about a month when they arrived at his home at 1918 Ohio Avenue on Tuesday at about 9 p.m. Wanted on several drug charges, including possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of methadone among others, Mr. Nestor spotted the deputies as they walked toward his driveway. He was sitting in the driver seat of his Oldsmobile when Investigator Saal approached from the rear and Investigators Hambrick and Swint came to his driver-side door with weapons drawn. They ordered him out of the car but Mr. Nestor backed toward Investigator Saal and the officers fired.

Early indications are that Mr. Nestor was struck in the left arm and the neck, Sheriff Strength said. Mr. Nestor’s car traveled about 200 feet where he abandoned the vehicle and collapsed in a nearby yard.

Sheriff Strength said the investigators were not wearing their standard uniforms but did have on badges and department-issued rain jackets. They identified themselves as officers when they approached the car. No dash-cam video is available of the shooting because the officers parked a short distance from Mr. Nestor’s home and approached on foot to avoid alerting the suspect.

GBI investigators were searching his car Wednesday and the sheriff said he did not yet know whether they had found any weapons or narcotics inside. He did confirm that Mr. Nestor did not have a weapon on himself. Sheriff Strength said that he’d heard unconfirmed reports that Mr. Nestor may have been carrying a small amount of an unidentified narcotic.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website, Mr. Nestor served just over a year in Dooly State Prison in Unadilla, Ga. from August 2002 to September 2003 on methamphetamine possession charges in Cobb and Gwinnet counties.

Mr. Nestor’s fatal shooting by sheriff deputies is the second such incident in less than a week and the fourth in less than 12 months.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is still looking into last week’s shooting of a 41-year old Terry Ramsey on November 12. Two deputies involved in that shooting, Sylvester Rosier and Chadwick Plueger, returned to active duty Tuesday night.

The sheriff defended his deputies’ actions and said he did not foresee any policy changes on the use of deadly force. Two other fatal shootings in 2008 were deemed justified by the GBI.

“We don’t wake up in the morning saying ‘let’s go out and see if we can get in a shoot-out,’” Sheriff Strength said. “Most of these guys are not thinking about that, they’re thinking about going home at the end of the day also.”

Background information and disciplinary files on the three officers were not immediately available Wednesday but at least one of the them had been previously disciplined. Investigator Hambrick was suspended 10 days for posting a picture of himself with his department-issued Glock handgun on his Myspace page in 2006. A fellow deputy was fired and another suspended as part of the same investigation.

When a reporter from the Chronicle called to find out more information about the deputies and their training, the sheriff’s secretary said he would not be taking anymore calls about the shooting Wednesday afternoon.

------

Editor's note: An earlier version incorrectly identified the man killed by deputies as Michael Nester.

RELATED

Police set high bar for using deadly force (Feb. 4, 2009)

RECENT POLICE SHOOTINGS

A look at other shootings involving Richmond County officers:

NOV. 24, 2008 - Investigator Tim Tobias fatally shot Joseph Gooden, 26. The 21-year veteran was working a special-duty assignment at Captain D's restaurant on Wrightsboro Road when Mr. Gooden, armed with a BB gun, robbed the restaurant. Mr. Gooden was killed in the shooting.

DEC. 14, 2008 - Deputies Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge were responding to a tip about a man with drugs and weapons in an SUV when they boxed in Justin Leonard Elmore, 23, using their patrol cars in the Cherry Tree neighborhood. Deputies said Mr. Elmore rammed Deputy Hodge's car and drove toward Deputy Ortiz. The deputies fired on Mr. Elmore and he died several days later.

DEC. 25, 2008 - Deputy Scott White shot and wounded Georgette Reid during a hostage situation on Sunny Day Road in Hephzibah. Ms. Reid was fighting with her live-in girlfriend when she struck her in the head with a hammer and took her 4-year-old son hostage with a knife. As Deputy White entered the room, he shot Ms. Reid in the shoulder and pulled the boy away.

NOV. 12, 2009 - An Augusta man free on bond awaiting a murder trial was killed by Richmond County Sheriff's deputies Thursday when he refused to put down the knife he held to his wife's throat. Police said Terry Ramsey, 41, was shot when deputies responding to a phone call from his 14-year-old son, found him threatening his estranged wife Tameka Ramsey. He died at 4:49 a.m. at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting at 814 Metcalf St., and both deputies -- Chadwick Plueger and Sylvester Rosier -- have been placed on desk duty.

-- From staff reports

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (324) Add comment
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KSL
126240
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KSL 11/18/09 - 09:30 pm
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RCR, I don't know what you

RCR, I don't know what you are talking about. I will go back and look at the three names you called. I'll be back.

KSL
126240
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KSL 11/18/09 - 09:40 pm
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RCR, I can't prove it because

RCR, I can't prove it because I did not copy your post to Lola, but you cleaned it up. You had 3 name calling points in that post. I will from here on forth copy posts that disgust me.

jericojones
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jericojones 11/18/09 - 10:01 pm
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rcr, u the stud muffin of

rcr, u the stud muffin of commodes--everyone agrees--u use a toothbrush or your mouth?

curly123053
4549
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curly123053 11/18/09 - 10:10 pm
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And besides most times when

And besides most times when there is a cop shooting 95% the perp being shot is black.
Posted by Notreally on Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:36 AM

and 100% of the time when there is a cop shooting the perp being shot was up to no good....regardless of race !

Michigan_Man
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Michigan_Man 11/18/09 - 11:45 pm
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You know this should have

You know this should have nothing to do with race. This guy has 7 FELLONY accounts against him. What a great person to have on the street. If you see the Police coming for yo why would you get in the vehicle and try to run? Just plain stupid. Maybe he was high on his drugs that he was passing out to your kids, or other a-Holes who rob people, maybe kill others, rob others ect. Heck, wrong is wrong. Did they need to shoot the guy, who knows, but if someone comes in my house and I rack a 12 gauge shell in the chamber and for some reason they find what room I am in they will no longer be thinking. Get the point? of sound mind means a lot. Dumb or stupid is still dumb and stupid no matter what. Thank you officers for putting yourself up against the bad people in this great country.

KSManning
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KSManning 11/18/09 - 11:53 pm
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Thanks JohnBoy53. I was

Thanks JohnBoy53. I was trying to figure out where I'd heard that name before. Wasn't a bad goalie at that.

KSManning
33
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KSManning 11/18/09 - 11:57 pm
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Exactly Michigan Man. Even

Exactly Michigan Man. Even though they are train to do what they have to, these cops are still human and were forced to take another life. For their sacrifice, I'm grateful because I don't know if I could live with myself if I was ever put in a situation where I had to do the same.

Michigan_Man
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Michigan_Man 11/19/09 - 12:05 am
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Put yourself in there spot

Put yourself in there spot and guess what you will change your thought. Think about pulling over a vehicle that is tinted to the max. Do they have a gun or what in there pointing at me? Good luck you liberal idiots. The cops put there lifes in the line every day of their lives. You can not judge then unless you are in their shoes. I do not wish there job on anyone. I turned down working wiith the police to go to college and get an easy job working behind a desk and in a plant. Yes my life is a lot safer now and I don't have to put my life on the line when doing a routine traffic stop of a piece of crap who does not have a care or worry of what they do to anyone else in the world.

Pu239
284
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Pu239 11/19/09 - 12:22 am
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I'm still trying to figure
Unpublished

I'm still trying to figure why some peeps want the cops to shoot the tires.....is there a warrant on the tires? Did the tire pose a threat? Did it look like the tire had a concealed weapon? Sounds like the old 2 center mass, 1 cranial cavity worked in this situation.

jedex6
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jedex6 11/19/09 - 12:28 am
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Another casualty of this

Another casualty of this insane, decades-long War on Drugs that was proclaimed by Nancy Reagan with its "just say no" routine. Is this war, which has been an abject failure, worth the loss of just one human life? Why are we using the police to arrest drug addicts and traffickers and wasting public money locking them up? Why not just legalize the stuff and have the drug companies supply the stuff? I am sure their stockholders would be delighted.

jedex6
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jedex6 11/19/09 - 12:50 am
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Everyone here wants to

Everyone here wants to discuss the specifics of the case, but all of that is beside the point. The point is that tragedy results whenever a society tries to legislate morality. Decriminalizing drug use and possession, with some type of regulations and better yet legalizing drugs and having drug companies produce them would seem the lesser of two evils. Obviously, our society has failed to offer any real solutions to the drug problem. Prohibition failed too, but at least we got rid of it. Now the "war on drugs" needs to go. Another problem created by this insanity is over crowded jails, vast public expense, and hardened criminals who have become that way through being jailed and then released. That nobody here has addressed these issues is no surprise.

godblessallofus
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godblessallofus 11/19/09 - 05:01 am
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Some of the comments posted

Some of the comments posted is just plain SILLY! Do any one ever stop & think that when officers get ready for their shift their MAIN PRIORITY is to GO HOME at the end of their shift? Officers are always in the spotlight & god bless any officer who has had to shoot anyone! SHOOT THE TIRES??? No officer is trained to shoot out any tires! You shoot to stop the threat!!! The driver of the vehicle is the threat, NOT the tires. 16-3-21, Look it up read it over and over until you understand it. It's a life saver, not only 4 officers, 4 any one who's life is in JEOPARDY!!! May god bless the young man who lost his life & bless his family & may god bless the officers who were involved. MAY GOD BLESS ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERYDAY TO TRY & GIVE YOU A SAFER & BETTER PLACE TO LIVE!!!! GOD BLESS U ALL!

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 11/19/09 - 06:26 am
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Sharpton, Jackson and Justus4

Sharpton, Jackson and Justus4 could care less, simpley do to the race of the suspect. They hopefully will at least see it doesn't matter what color your skin is, if you try to run over a police officer, you will (and should) be shot at and if you happen to die, then that is the risk you take. Great Job RCSO, as usual. And, amazing how with the suspect being white, the majority of the posters have no problem with the police doing thier jobs as they should be, wish it was always that way.

gfwvaldostaga.
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gfwvaldostaga. 11/19/09 - 08:04 am
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Keep up the good job

Keep up the good job deputies!! another p o s out of our misery! now his unborn baby girl will not have to grow up knowing her dad was a dirtbag! maybe her mother can wise up and take birth control so she will not get pregant again by another p o s!

xanadu
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xanadu 11/19/09 - 08:52 am
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black, white, yellow, striped

black, white, yellow, striped or polka-dotted, it doesn't matter: those who act badly often end up badly. you all need to get over this white black thing, it makes the postings on the articles so predictable and boring. if you can't make a sensible, intelligent observation about anything in the world w/o bringing race into the mix, then please refrain from commenting at all, or else go to a racist blog site where you can fling mud and crap at each other until doomsday.

leftAUG
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leftAUG 11/19/09 - 05:08 pm
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I understand that if you do

I understand that if you do the crime you do the time. However, I agree with Fedup. If the officer at the rear of the vehicle could get out of the way, then it obviously wasn't that much of a risk. If there were two officers at the driver side of the vehicle and another at the rear, then why not shoot out the tires? Why is the first impulse for our "public servants" to use deadly force? Granted, I was not there and I'm sure that some information is being "withheld". But seriously. Why is it okay for the police to go home to their family, but not the suspect? I could agree with the scenario if in ANY account of the incident Nester had pulled a weapon, but he didn't. I also understand that a car can be viewed as a "deadly weapon", but again, it's hard to go anywhere if you don't have tires, and the cop got out of the way! If the scenario was reversed and the officer were to attempt to strike a suspect and the suspect turned and shot and killed the officer would it be justified as "appropriate use of force"? I'm sure someone is going to say that a policeman wouldn't "hit" a suspect with his car, my response is this.....have you ever watched COPS?!

jedex6
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jedex6 11/19/09 - 05:16 pm
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Nobody here will take up my

Nobody here will take up my proposals. Just more of the same arguing about whether the police actions were justified and how or if race enters into the drug scourge. Over three hundred posts and not one person has discussed the topic that I raised. Praying and God blessing will not, and never have, changed a single thing. And our country continues to struggle with no solutions under the weight of this burden due to moralizing by the right wing and complete lack of leadership. Expect more of the same. Nothing ever changes.

leftAUG
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leftAUG 11/19/09 - 05:19 pm
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Nestor was a good person at

Nestor was a good person at heart. I know this because he was a friend. I didn't "party" with him, but I did have alot of good times with him. He made bad decisions, it wasn't just one, it was a series of them. I knew that he wasn't always on the "straight and narrow", but he would bend over backwards to help a friend. Some of you need to step back and realize that he had a family and friends. Look at the people that surround you, I'm sure that you would be amazed at what you don't know. Stop judging and pray for his family. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Get off your soap boxes and pedistals and realize that he was some one's son and brother. He will be missed.

leftAUG
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leftAUG 11/19/09 - 05:22 pm
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jedex6...I will comment. I

jedex6...I will comment. I agree with what you are saying. How much money is wasted nationally to combat something that is in-combatible. Why not legalize and tax it? Case in point...anyone ever hear of prohibition?

createyourfuture
68
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createyourfuture 11/19/09 - 07:17 pm
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Justus4 where are you??

Justus4 where are you??

corgimom
31086
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corgimom 11/19/09 - 08:59 pm
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leftAug, in your world,

leftAug, in your world, shooting the tires of a car stops a car. You watch too much tv and too many movies. That is fiction. Shooting out the tires of a car doesn't stop it, the driver can still keep going. Ever seen episodes of Cops where a suspect keeps driving after running over spike strips, and rides on the rims of the tires?

leftAUG
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leftAUG 11/20/09 - 07:08 am
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Yeah I have, but in those

Yeah I have, but in those episodes is the next step to stopping the car to shoot the driver???? There is no fiction to this, AUG cops are WAY to quick to pull the trigger. Wrong is wrong, on both ends of the argument.

jedex6
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jedex6 11/20/09 - 03:17 pm
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leftAUG, In my previous posts

leftAUG, In my previous posts I mentioned Prohibition. But as you can see here, you are the only person besides myself to take up the issue of the greater fallicy of the drug war. Welcome to the insularity of Augusta. If you have indeed left, congrats. Yes we had Prohibition and now we have this. It is insanity, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. As I said, all these posts, over three hundred and not one other person can see the forest for the trees. Unbelievable. Except yourself. Thanks for noticing my opinion.

jedex6
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jedex6 11/20/09 - 03:22 pm
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Your screen name reminds me

Your screen name reminds me of a book by Paul Hemphill. who was among many other things, a sports columnist for the AC way back in the day. He passed away this year. The book is entitled "Leaving Birmingham". Not enough people have read it. Especially all these right wingers here.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 11/20/09 - 04:34 pm
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Shooting out tires at that

Shooting out tires at that close range is not a good idea. That won't stop the car and even if it did eventually stop, it wouldn't stop fast enough. The possible ricocheting off the rims is not fun either. Might as well be playing Russian Roulette. Frankly, shooting the driver is still no guarantee the SUV would stop in time, but it's a slightly better bet.

jedex6
18
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jedex6 11/20/09 - 10:31 pm
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Shooting out tires, shooting

Shooting out tires, shooting the driver, shooting shooting, shooting! Who cares? The point is that all of this war against drugs is insane! Apparently all of you posters here are more concerned with seeing that this nonsensical loss of life continues. What is more important, preventing drug abuse or preventing death? Obviously to you it's the former. And since that is an impossible goal, why do you continue to argue over what amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? How about offering real solutions? You know, like all the handy dandy solutions the right wing is so good at coming up with. And suggesting more jails, more police, and more and tougher laws doesn't count. They have all failed. And this story is just one more very sad example.

corgimom
31086
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corgimom 11/26/09 - 01:42 pm
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So since you want to prevent

So since you want to prevent death, take away all the laws that relate to people getting shot. Drugs, alcohol, robbery, burglary, domestic violence, rioting, etc. etc. See where that goes? Anarchy?

corgimom
31086
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corgimom 11/26/09 - 09:33 pm
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I get called a far left

I get called a far left liberal and a right winger in the same week. I love it.

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