Updated: Apr 28
By Joe Johnson
An Athens-Clarke County police officer was injured Sunday night when she was dragged by a car operated by an alleged drunk driver, police said.
While on patrol on Preserve Drive at about 9 p.m., Officer Torie Teets saw a car being driven recklessly and at high speeds, police said. Fearing that she would be struck, the officer moved to the side of the road as far as possible and activated her patrol car’s emergency lights. The reckless vehicle crashed into another car and came to a stop after rolling backwards into the curb, according to police.
Officer Teets ran to the aid of the driver while seeing smoke coming from under the hood of the car, police said, and when she tried to get the driver out of the vehicle, he appeared to be unconscious. However, when he came to the man started the car again and, ignoring Teets’ verbal commands, he drove away from the scene, dragging the officer with him for a distance, according to police.
The officer was treated for an arm injury at a local hospital and released.
Officers located the vehicle a short time later nearby, and the driver was taken into custody after a brief pursuit and after his car suffered mechanical failure, police said.
The driver, identified by police as 26-year-old Frank Garcia Reyes of Acadia Drive, was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and attempting to elude police, DUI, driving without a valid license, failure to maintain lane, driving a vehicle with a cancelled registration, leaving the scene of an accident and driving an uninsured vehicle.
Reyes was being held withut bail on the aggravated assault charge as of Monday afternoon.