SAVANNAH, Georgia (WSAV) – The family of a 20-year-old allegedly assaulted by a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) soldier is calling for a transparent investigation into the incident.

Attorney Chad Mance says his client Abijah Jones was illegally arrested on June 11 by a state trooper, causing a hairline crack in his arm – or possibly a major injury.

“I think it’s the wrong time, the wrong place, the bad policing,” Mance said.

The attorney says Jones was driving his younger brother for a haircut when a soldier sped past him chasing a Dodge Charger. The 20-year-old reportedly stopped on Pennsylvania Avenue to check on his vehicle and looked at another one before going back to his own.

Then the soldier loudly called out to Mance for someone to “stop” and his client was arrested.

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“Abijah didn’t even know that he was actually told to stop,” said the lawyer. “Abijah went back to his car after it pulled over to the side of the road and was arrested and injured during the arrest.”

According to a GSP incident report, the soldier involved was chasing a driver who was driving in the wrong direction and was not wearing a seat belt. The soldier tried to initiate a traffic control, according to the report, but the driver continued to drive ruthlessly until he encountered another vehicle on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“When he was getting his little brother to have his hair cut, a police car chasing another vehicle sped past him. As the police car sped past him, Abijah’s vehicle shuddered. At this point Abijah thinks my car may have hit or something, ”Mance explained.

The driver got out of the vehicle and began to flee from the trooper, who, according to GSP, triggered a taser twice. The suspect jumped over a fence and the soldier “lost sight of him”.

The soldier returned to the crash site and saw a woman who, according to the incident report, appeared to be unconscious, covered in blood and seriously injured when she was bumped into by the suspect. At this point, the soldier’s interaction with Jones began:

Mr Jones did not try to help the injured driver and did not appear to be concerned about the woman who was seriously injured in the accident. I wasn’t sure if Mr. Jones was in the car in the accident, if he was involved or if he’d taken items out of the car behind my back. I asked Mr. Jones what he was doing. When I asked the question, Mr. Jones turned and began walking back to a vehicle parked on New York Street. I ran after Mr. Jones and grabbed his shoulders to prevent him from getting to the vehicle. I gave orders to go to the ground several times and Mr. Jones refused to obey. Mr. Jones eventually followed suit and landed on the floor. Once on the floor, I had to tell Mr. Jones several times to put his hands behind his back before he gave in. I grabbed Mr. Jones and put him in my vehicle until I could find out if he was involved in the escape of the Dodge Charger. I arrested Mr. Jones because the fleeing driver was still nearby, there was just an accident with serious injuries, medical staff was not yet on site, and I was the only soldier on the scene.

APS incident report

According to the report, the soldier released Jones after speaking to his brother and found that they were not involved in the incident.

“Mr. Jones stated that he thought his brother was involved in the crash and checked to see if it was him,” the soldier reported. “I told Mr. Jones that he had no business at or around the crime scene if he were not involved. Mr. Jones said he understood and apologized. Mr. Jones was released with a verbal warning. “

Jones’ family now hopes that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and GSP Internal Affairs investigate the situation and ensure that adequate education is provided in the future.

“We want to make it clear that this is in no way an indictment against law enforcement, but that we have to make sure that people are held accountable,” Mance described. “While Abijah was leaving, so many young men and women don’t.”

WSAV News 3 has asked GSP for further comments on the incident.