Athens shooting suspect spits in arresting officer's face


Henry Greg Thomas Jr.

By Joe Johnson

The suspect in a shooting last week at an east Athens trailer park spit in the face of the officer who arrested him Tuesday night, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

Officer First Class Seth Jones responded at about 9:50 p.m. to the Triangle Plaza shopping center on Nellie B Avenue to investigate a report that 36-yea-old Henry Greg Thomas Jr. was there. Thomas was wanted on warrants for allegedly shooting another man four days earlier at the Hallmark Estates, the mobile home park off Spring Valley Road where Thomas lives.

According to police, Thomas shot 36-year-old Hickman Drive resident LaWayne Andreas Banks in the leg at during a dispute over a female.

"Banks learned that a female friend was with another male and went to Hallmark to confront the people," said police Capt. Christopher Nichols, commanding officer of the Criminal Investigations Division. "Banks got into a confrontation with the male half and other persons, to include Thomas. Banks left, but decided to return to confront the female and the male again. Another argument ensued, which turned into a physical altercation, ultimately resulting in Thomas shooting Banks."

Police subsequently obtained warrants charging Thomas with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

When Officer Jones saw Thomas walking in Triangle Plaza, he blocked in the suspect’s car with his patrol car and arrested the suspect at gunpoint, according to the police report.

After being placed in handcuffs, Thomas was searched, and a pill bottle containing crack cocaine was located in his pants pocket, according to the report.

“After Mr. Thomas was searched I attempted to sit him in my patrol vehicle,” Jones wrote in the report. “Mr. Thomas refused and then spit directly in my face.”

In addition to the warrants from the shooting, Thomas was charged with simple battery on a law enforcement officer and possession of cocaine.

He was being held without bail at the Clarke County Jail.

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