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.

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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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jericojones
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jericojones 11/18/09 - 12:18 pm
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Matt appears to be a "really

Matt appears to be a "really good" person too. Matt, smoke another rock and calm down!

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 12:19 pm
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Most of you have no heart in

Most of you have no heart in your body. You are soulless. You are taking time out of your day to celebrate the RCPD shooting a man when other measures absolutely could have been taken to apprehend him. Those of you who say he was not a good person...who says you are? We celebrate Ted Kennedy as a man among men and wasn't he involved with the death of an innocent person? Should he have been shot on site when found? No matter what you say...this man had a child on the way. He had a family. And you all are horrible people for taking time out of your pathetic days to bemoan him. Have some damned sympathy for his family. Or go join Westboro Baptist Church...they could use people like you.

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 12:22 pm
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A bunch of WHAT LOL OMG wow

A bunch of WHAT LOL OMG wow matt I guess you scream that all the time, did you scream that at your deceased friend? Had he been on the UP AND UP he would have let them arrest him. And if the popo tried to arrest the wrong man from name association somebody is UP THE CREEK.

jericojones
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jericojones 11/18/09 - 12:24 pm
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As for Ted Kennedy, yes he

As for Ted Kennedy, yes he should have been shot a long time ago!

jericojones
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jericojones 11/18/09 - 12:26 pm
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Oh, I think they got the

Oh, I think they got the right person---dope head/dealer!

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 12:26 pm
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And do not forget the Cherry

And do not forget the Cherry Tree Crossing incident last year (Before you all classify me by race due to this comment, let me correct you: I am white). Police put innocent lives in danger because a suspect was "trying to run them over." Anyone who watched the tape of that event can clearly see no such evidence can be found. Therefore, who is to say this event is not similar? If Mike lived in West Lake instead of Ohio Avenue I guarantee you shots would not have been fired immediately.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/18/09 - 12:26 pm
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Mattghughes, I'm sorry for

Mattghughes, I'm sorry for your loss. As I stated a few days ago, no matter what circumstances led up to this incident, the deceased was still loved by others, and those who post should be considerate of their grief. However, I ask that you just use the term IDIOT in your next post. As for Mr. Nestor's actions, I think we all agree that had he simply complied with the deputies and allowed himself to be arrested, he would still be alive today. My condolences to the family and friends. My prayers are with you all and with the deputies. For those of you arguing back and forth, take a minute and think about how you would feel if this was someone you knew or had tried to help in the past before you post your next comment.

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 12:27 pm
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LOL matt grouped black,

LOL matt grouped black, white, yellow, purple and green into one BUNCH and call them all a BLANK N LOL... OMG. See Matts white and he uses the N word seems rampantly, or when he's mad LOL.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 11/18/09 - 12:29 pm
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Well, matt, all Nester had to

Well, matt, all Nester had to do was identify himself and clear up the misunderstanding. His actions screamed, "SHOOT ME, SHOOT ME". He forced the situation for what? ....no reason? Maybe, but I don't think so. Soon, way too much information will be released and the deputies will be cleared of all possible charges of wrong doing.

jericojones
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jericojones 11/18/09 - 12:29 pm
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Blacks and black wannabes use

Blacks and black wannabes use the n word amongst each other all the time--it's a culture thing!

corgimom
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corgimom 11/18/09 - 12:29 pm
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"No matter what you

"No matter what you say...this man had a child on the way. He had a family. " He didn't care one bit about his child or his family when he was dealing drugs. Drug dealers are the scum of society. The police were not at fault. When you deal drugs, you either wind up dead or in prison. There are no other choices.

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 11/18/09 - 12:31 pm
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what's your point, Notreally?

what's your point, Notreally? Your posts don't seem to make sense.

smartie
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smartie 11/18/09 - 12:31 pm
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yes! ted kennedy should have

yes! ted kennedy should have been shot. and, while i sympathize, i have to tell you, you should just go ahead and turn your computer off. this is a debate forum. condolences will be listed in the obituary section in a few days. again, believe me, i sympathize, but you guys are trying to convince all of us that their was no justification, whatsoever, in all of this. quite frankly, i don't believe it. let's not have another cherry tree here.

older than dirt
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older than dirt 11/18/09 - 12:33 pm
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I am very sorry that the

I am very sorry that the family and loved one are having to go through this. But, with that being said, I have family members with RCSO and those deputies also have families. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, and loved by their families. Do this make them less missed when someone who disregards the law takes their life?

smartie
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smartie 11/18/09 - 12:39 pm
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mwilli. you didn't watch the

mwilli. you didn't watch the same video that i watched. and the hypothetical situation that you posed? i have to believe that if the same situation occurred in westlake, the same thing would've happened. good lord!! you people act like the deputies just picked someone out and shot him.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/18/09 - 12:39 pm
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Jericojones, it's not a

Jericojones, it's not a culture thing. I don't use the N word and have told my sons not to use it either. Profanity and words like Suck, Crap, and the N word are banned in my house. I told my sons that there are too many other words in the dictionary that can be used. This whole culture thing explanation for use of the N word is a fallacy.

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 12:41 pm
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Smartie: I am not contending

Smartie: I am not contending that this guy broke the law and was not in current violation of the law due to fleeing while having warrants out for his arrest. That is fact. What I am saying is this: These are police trained in stopping criminals without killing them. If police could shoot every person in a similar situation to Mike, this would not be America. Shoot the tires out, block him in with your vehicles, call for back-up, set up a road block, etc. Don't kill him, You all trust your local police way too much. Maybe you all should start listening to the black community's opinion on police. One day it will be someone you know.

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 12:45 pm
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You are fooling yourself

You are fooling yourself smartie. Put yourself in their shoes: What would your first instinct be, flee or kill? Obviously it is flee. Now, do you really think that what happened in Cherry Tree or Ohio ave would occur in the richest neighborhoods of the CSRA? No! If a bullet went through a house in West Lake and nearly hit a civilian, there would be OUTRAGE. And it would actually be heard rather than swept under the rug!

corgimom
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corgimom 11/18/09 - 12:45 pm
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Mwilli, HE TRIED TO RUN A

Mwilli, HE TRIED TO RUN A POLICE OFFICER DOWN. You don't seem to understand that. It wasn't about fleeing, it was about attempted murder. Road blocks. Shoot out the tires. Right.

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 12:48 pm
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LOL jericojones that's your

LOL jericojones that's your PERCEPTION in actuality they don't. Now when you are with those who look like you, and think like you, you do however don't you?

Rolling Eyes
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Rolling Eyes 11/18/09 - 12:49 pm
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Notreally, earlier you were

Notreally, earlier you were reading the riot act with white people over their comments about this article. Now that you know the subject of the shooting is a white man you are the only person that feels that you need to go back and change their posts. All the white posts stayed the same, why do you feel the need to change yours?

smartie
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smartie 11/18/09 - 12:49 pm
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ok, mwilli, i know you have a

ok, mwilli, i know you have a point. my point is, my brother, don't run from the law. i don't believe the multi-class argument. police are allowed to suspect that someone with a rap sheet can be dangerous. i agree. their could've been a different outcome. it's a tragedy.

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 12:54 pm
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corgimom: We are being TOLD

corgimom: We are being TOLD that he tried to run a police officer down. Where are the witnesses? Where is the dashboard camera footage? Until then, I will remain skeptical...because this has happened way too many times lately. Police officers are not infallible and do not always make the proper choice. They are humans like you and I.

smartie
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smartie 11/18/09 - 12:55 pm
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y'all leave notreally alone,

y'all leave notreally alone, he's running himself crazy, eh, crazier, trying to figure if i'm black or white.

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 12:57 pm
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Because I thought he was

Because I thought he was BLACK rolling eyes from my 9:35 AM post, I outlined instances from this article which screamed he was, but contrary to his friend Matt I found out the opposite so I changed it. Seriously before Matt said Nestor was white had not he said it or this current pic they just posted doesn't this fit the typical black criminal even though the article didn't state race? Think about it

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 12:58 pm
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smartie LOL for all I know

smartie LOL for all I know you could be the antichrist and I wouldn't still care.

Mwilli5009
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Mwilli5009 11/18/09 - 01:00 pm
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The guy just wanted to see

The guy just wanted to see the birth of his child. If I was in his shoes, I would run as fast as I could until that day came. He knew what was coming in terms of jail time and he knew he couldn't avoid it. At the heart of all this, there is a person, just like you and I. Same emotions, same fears.

Notreally
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Notreally 11/18/09 - 01:05 pm
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However true Mwilli if he was

However true Mwilli if he was changed or had turned his life around he should have just said well DANG they got me and gave up. Maybe he tried but one of the officers cracked something that ticked him off and he went back to his CRIMINAL mind towards law enforcement officers. Sometimes the popo instigate. Most have the I"M THE MAN when carrying that badge as well, and we all know some say stuff and regret it later when they are caught on tape etc.

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 11/18/09 - 01:05 pm
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This guys felony record isn't

This guys felony record isn't on the site, only a couple of small things. I wonder what he was wanted for. Oh well, when will these fools learn first don't run from the police, second do not do it in the direction of an officer. It never ends well. Maybe they will start to get the picture if this happens enough times. Saved the taxpayers a little money though. Maybe now this will put justus's mind at ease that the police don't only shoot black guys. They shoot criminals period!!! They don't pick and choose who the [filtered word] is that runs from them and threatens them, they just rectify the situation! My symapthy to the officers for having to deal with this, and appreciation for your service.

CobaltGeorge
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CobaltGeorge 11/18/09 - 01:06 pm
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No matter who (repeat WHO)

No matter who (repeat WHO) has been shot by any police officer while breaking the law or actually committing a crime, there will always be some posters that will fight tooth and nail to support that criminal. Those posters shows no wrongs in their way of thinking and the judicial system should be outlawed or blamed. This is the type of society they wish for. Makes life for them so much easier. Also have you noticed that posters that feel a criminal is a [filtered word]has at the same time shown compassion to the families involved.

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