A Hinesville Police Department officer sustained a broken nose Wednesday morning when he got into a scuffle with a suspect who reportedly was in the process of robbing Bank of America in Hinesville.
During an interview Wednesday, HPD Detective Tracy Howard said Brandon Patrick, 28, allegedly walked into the bank at 102 W. Gen. Screven Way shortly before 10:30 a.m. with an empty duffle bag, approached a teller and demanded she fill it with money.
The teller locked her drawer, walked away from the counter, alerted the other tellers of the robbery and called 911 on her cell phone, Howard said. Other tellers also pressed silent-alarm buttons, alerting law-enforcement officers of the robbery in progress.
Hinesville Police Officer Sgt. Terranova Smith, Norman Ewing and Franklin Gallob, who were patrolling the area at the time, responded to the call, according to an incident report filed by Smith.
Smith said he pulled into the bank parking lot and saw Ewing and Gallob enter the bank through the front door. As Smith approached the entrance, he told customers about to enter the bank to move back.
Smith entered the lobby with his weapon drawn and said he saw Ewing talking to a man at the counter wearing a white T-shirt. The man, later identified as Brandon Patrick, 28, of Hinesville, refused to obey the officers’ commands to lie on the ground and put his hands behind his back.
Smith said he holstered his weapon and approached Patrick, who was not armed, according to the report, and knocked the suspect to the ground by grabbing and lifting his legs. Patrick began swinging at Smith and Ewing, according to the incident report. He punched Ewing in the face, breaking his nose. The officer was treated at Liberty Regional Medical Center.
Smith sustained superficial injuries to his forehead and right jaw. Patrick also allegedly kicked Gallob in the legs during the scuffle; however, the officer was not injuried.
The scuffle reportedly continued until Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gary Eason arrived and Tasered the suspect, who was handcuffed and taken to the Liberty County Regional Jail in Hinesville.