Talking about law enforcement in this day and age, can get you caught up in a fight or given a “pat on the back” thank you. Either way you view the “community in blue”, you still have to admit they earn every dime they don’t make and then some. There is one thing to working a 9-5’er, punching the clock, doing your time and going home to the wife and kids, and quite another to wonder if you will live through this upcoming shift.
Many who complain about the “thin blue line” community have never given of themselves, never put their life on the line for a “paycheck” and my words for those people; you have no valid opinions. If you haven’t walked in their shoes, then you have no right to condemn.
On to the story at hand…
The video below depicts the events that transpired on October 21, 2013 in Demorest, Ga. when Deputy Tonya Elrod initiated a simple early morning traffic stop. What unfolded is every officer’s worst nightmare scenario. It took 18 months before Elrod would find herself face-to-face with her assailant as he represented himself in the Habersham County courtroom.
Elrod testified; “The door began to open, the next thing I knew there was a gun in my face and I heard a click.” Apparently the gun failed to fire, and Rice was then tackled by Deputy Graham Arrowood while Rice attempted to clear the handgun malfunction. Then a third Habersham County Sheriffs Deputy, Sgt. Greg Chastain shot Rice from behind, striking him several times, wounding the man seriously.
Timothy Barrett of Cornelia, Georgia was the accomplice who helped Rice steal a Jet Ski which they intended to sell for methamphetamines. Barrett, who cooperated with law enforcement was charged with theft while Rice, who has already spent a significant amount of time in prison was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a first offender or convicted felon, theft by taking and possession of meth.
Judge Rusty Smith sat on the bench, and has handed down his verdict of guilty, sentencing Rice to serve 70 years in felony confinement for attempting to shoot sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Elrod during a traffic stop.
Justice may have taken a while to be served, but in this case, I believe it to be just.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams