NWGA Scanner | December 2nd, 2021

Dalton police officer stabbed with screwdriver while at domestic violence call Tuesday

According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021, at around 8:25 p.m., officers responded to a residence in regard to a “domestic dispute in progress.” According to the report, Officer Joshua Bethune arrived first on the scene. According to the report, Officers were advised a “male subject was possibly on drugs and had a screwdriver in his possession.” Officers were also advised the male wanted to attack his dad. According to the report, the second arriving officer stepped out of the patrol vehicle and heard the injured Bethune telling the male identified as Anibal Sanchez, 27, of Dalton, to show his hands. The secondary officer drew his Taser and also ordered Sanchez to show his hands. According to the report, “The subject would not comply. He kept saying ‘Shoot me.'” The officer reported, “Officer Bethune deployed his Taser with no effect. [I] circled behind the subject and he turned around so [I] deployed my Taser into his stomach and lower chest area. My Taser did not have an effect on the subject.” According to the report, Officer Bethune pleaded with Sanchez saying, “I do not want to kill you, I do not want to kill you,” while Sanchez had the screwdriver in his hand. According to the report, Sanchez said he wanted to fight the officers “and for us to hit him.” Both officers drew their batons. “… the subject began moving his body around in a fighting motion by shifting side to side with his fists closed.” The report said Bethune struck the man in the leg with his baton but “the hit had little effect on the subject and he lunged at Officer Bethune.” The report said this was when Bethune was stabbed. Shortly after, Bethune transmitted over the radio that he was in a fight with one of the persons involved in the domestic. Officer Bethune was then able to transmit over the radio that he had been stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. transmit over the radio that he had been stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.” An all call was then given for all units to respond and step it up. The report said the officer transitioned back to his Taser while Bethune drew his gun, with both officers now ordering Sanchez to get on the ground. The third officer arrived and used his Taser on Sanchez, with no effect as well. That officer used his Taser on Sanchez again and this time he fell to the ground and rolled onto his stomach. The violent struggle continued as officers could not get the man’s hands behind him to handcuff him. An officer used his Taser on the man’s thigh. According to the report, “This deployment was effective” officers were able to handcuff Sanchez. According to the report, Sanchez’s mother then “fell onto the ground and was trying to shield him. She kept saying ‘Don’t kill him”. According to the report, The report said a fourth officer arrived and was able to get the mom and the rest of the family away from the officers and Sanchez. According to the report, the family said he had been talking out of his head and that he was on drugs, possibly meth. Officer Bethune was treated for his injuries and released from Hamilton Medical Center. Anibal Sanchez was booked into the Whitfield County Jail, charged with aggravated assault on an officer engaged in duties (weapon), aggravated battery against an officer (weapon), obstruction of an officer by threat/violence, and giving false information to a law officer. He remained in the Whitfield County Jail Thursday afternoon. According to the Dalton Police Department, Officer Bethune has been with the department since 2018. He is also a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, where he served since High School in 2012. Since being with DPD, Bethune has received several awards. In October he was honored with the agency’s Life Saving Award. According to the release, “On August 22nd, officers were dispatched to Park Canyon Apartments to a call of an older man who was unconscious and not breathing. Officers Bethune and Porter arrived on scene and found the patient had no pulse and was not breathing. The officers began performing CPR on the patient. After performing several rounds of CPR, the patient regained a faint pulse and was turned over to emergency medical technicians who had arrived on scene.” He was also honored again with the agency’s Life-Saving Award after his heroic actions in July. According to that release, Bethune was dispatched to a report of a woman who had been stabbed. He arrived on scene and found the victim suffering from a stab wound in the neck. Officer Bethune immediately rendered life-saving care, which ultimately led to her survival.