Updated: Mar 22
By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police officers recently backed off from a potentially violent incident involving a barricaded armed woman and later obtained warrants that led to her arrest.
Briana Rashall Rucker, 23, was booked into the county jail Sunday on charges of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor obstruction of law enforcement.
“When probable cause exists to make an arrest, our goal is to always facilitate that arrest without incident. This outcome was the result of the officers’ assessment of the circumstances at the time, their training, to include de-escalation training, and ACCPD policy, to include our use of force policy,” said Lt. Shaun Barnett, public information officer for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.
The incident occurred the night of March 10 at University Oaks apartments, where officers were requested by a 911 caller to conduct a welfare check of three young boys who were trying to get into an apartment that they never before had trouble getting into, Barnett said.
When officers arrived, he said, they knocked on the door and Rucker from inside asked who was there, to which officers replied it was the police, Barnett said.
“An officer was looking at the window to the left of the door and saw Rucker approach the doorway with a small semiautomatic pistol in her hand,” Barnett said. “When Rucker approached, she pointed the gun up against the window and pressed it against the glass directly at officers.”
After officers had announced three times that they were the police and told the woman to put away the gun, “Rucker then answered the door with the gun in hand,” according to Barnett, who said that when officers again told Rucker to put the weapon down, “she did not reply and promptly closed the door, concealing herself inside.”
Barnett added that while still trying to communicate with Rucker, “officers again stated it was the police and if she was concerned if, in fact, we were real police she could call 911 to verify,” and meanwhile, other occupants of the apartment allowed officers to check on the welfare of the children.
According to Barnett, “Rucker opened the door several times but continually reached into her pockets, keeping her hands concealed. Since officers were able to check on the welfare of the children and Rucker continued to yell, act disorderly toward officers, and keep her hands concealed after already pointing a firearm toward officers, the officers on scene made the decision to withdraw from the area to avoid further conflict.”
Police subsequently obtained warrants for Rucker’s arrest, which were executed on Sunday.
As of Monday afternoon, Rucker continued to be detained, as no bail was set for the aggravated assault charge.