A Fort Stewart soldier was arrested early Monday morning after an incident in which Hinesville police fired shots at his 2011 Nissan Pathfinder after he allegedly nearly hit an officer while driving away from a traffic stop.
According to Hinesville Police Department Det. Jeff Lui, the soldier, Derrick Drayton, faces charges of aggravated assault on an officer, leaving the scene of an accident and open container as a result of the incident, which also sent two police officers to Liberty Regional Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.
They are both on administrative leave, according to Hinesville Police Department Assistant Chief Bill Kirkendall.
Drayton was unharmed, Lui said. Police haven’t released the names of the officers, saying the incident remains under investigation.
Authorities said witnesses initially called 911 around 2 a.m. Monday to report a man in a gray SUV on E.G. Miles Parkway was driving recklessly and hit “multiple objects on the roadway,” according to an incident report.
An officer spotted the SUV on Sharon Street and stopped the driver.
After giving police his driver’s license, Drayton then allegedly drove away and nearly hit an officer in the process.
The two officers at the traffic stop then pulled their weapons and fired a combined five shots at Drayton’s SUV. It was hit “several time,” according to authorities.
A police report sheds more light on the incident.
According to it, while the officer who stopped the vehicle was taking Drayton’s drivers’s license a second officer pulled up to provide back up.
The report said Drayton allegedly began to roll up his window and restarted his vehicle, despite orders from one of the officers not to do so, and refused to obey other commands from the officer to take his hands off the steering wheel.
Ultimately one of the officers used his baton to shatter Drayton’s window, but instead of obeying orders to get out of the car, he put the SUV into gear, drove forward and nearly struck an officer, the report said, noting Drayton then almost lost control of his vehicle while turning back onto E.G. Miles.
Drayton was found later in his vehicle on Cobra Circle in the Eagles Landing subdivision. He surrendered peacefully, according to Lui.
As of Tuesday morning and based on the Liberty County Jail inmate online database, Derrick Drayton’s bond was set at $6,900.
Kirkendall said Drayton was offered the chance to take a breath test and he refused.
“So they got a search warrant for his blood and drew blood at the hospital… That blood will be sent to the crime lab for analysis… So we will wait for the results from the state crime lab,” he said.
Kirkendall said there are two active investigations ongoing.
“One for the traffic stop and then a separate investigation based on the hit and run,” he said. “We are declining to release the names of the officers right now … because this is an active investigation…they are on administrative leave with pay right now which is normal for these types of things and pending the administrative review of the case.”