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Black DUI suspect fought and ran from Athens police because he was 'in fear of his life'

Phillip Ray Reed

A black DUI suspect was who was tased by an officer Sunday night explained he fought with officers because he feared for his life, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The incident began shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday when officers responded to a report of a suspicious SUV that was occupied by two people and parked near a house for sale in the 300 block of Old Commerce Road.

The vehicle was occupied by 40-year-old Kim Chase Road resident Phillip Ray Reed and a female.

Reed reportedly told police he was having car trouble and was parked at that location to wait for his wife to pick him up. After smelling an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, an officer asked Reed how much he had to drink, to which the man replied he had one beer.

After Reed failed roadside sobriety tests, the officer attempted to arrest him for DUI, at which time Reed reportedly resisted being placed into handcuffs by multiple officers and refused orders to lie on the ground.

An officer warned Reed that if he continued to fight he would be tased, but when a stun gun was used to deliver an electric shock to the man’s side and it had no effect, Reed attempted to run away, according to the police report.

When officers caught up to Reed they took him to the ground where he continued to resist arrest.

After being transported by ambulance to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center for a reason that was redacted from the police report, Reed agreed to speak with an officer.

“I asked Reed why he was fighting with officers when being arrested and he said that he was in fear of his life,” an officer wrote on the report.

The statement was made in the aftermath of high-profile cases of unarmed black men being killed by police.

He also admitted to having drank three beers, some tequila and snorted methamphetamine.

After being medically cleared from the hospital, Reed was transported to the county jail, where he was booked in on charges of driving under the influence of multiple substances, obstruction of law enforcement and driving while having a suspended license, according to the police report.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Reed was being held at the jail in lieu of good security bonds totaling $4,500.

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