NWGA Scanner | August 4th, 2021

Milledgeville pair physically resists trooper after driver refuses to sign speeding ticket on I-75 in Whitfield County

According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, On July 20th, 2021, at 7:21 AM, while sitting stationary on I-75 northbound near mile marker 335, Trooper Emilee Shackleford observed a silver SUV traveling at a high rate of speed in the left lane. Trooper Shackleford reported, “[I] used my state-issued Stalker Laser to determine the speed of the oncoming vehicle. The stalker displayed a speed of 88 miles an hour. [I] initiated a traffic stop on I-75 Northbound near mile marker 336, where the vehicle was identified as a silver Mazda.” The trooper approached the vehicle on the passenger side and asked the driver if he had his license with him. The driver, later identified as Michael Hill, 49, of Milledgeville, GA, immediately became hostile, asking, “What’d I get stopped for.” The trooper informed Hill they would discuss that once he identified himself. The driver continued to be hostile while he handed the trooper his license. Trooper Shackleford reported, “[I] informed Mr. Hill he was being stopped for traveling 88 miles an hour in a 70 mile an hour zone. [I] asked Mr. Hill if there was a reason he was traveling that fast. Mr. Hill then became irate, yelling and screaming, attempting to inform me he was not traveling that fast. [I] returned to my patrol vehicle and ran Mr. Hill’s information through GCIC and NCIC. Mr. Hill’s license status returned valid. [I] returned to the vehicle and informed Mr. Hill he was being issued a citation and that by signing the citation, he was not admitting to guilt but understanding that he is being issued a citation that he will take care of on his own time. Mr. Hill repeatedly informed me he was not signing the citation. [I] confirmed that Mr. Hill did not want to sign the citation. [I] informed Mr. Hill to turn his vehicle off, unbuckle himself, and step out of the vehicle. Mr. Hill complied. Mr. Hill walked to the front of my vehicle. Due to Mr. Hill refusing to sign the citation, he would have to post the bond at the Whitfield County Jail on his charge.” According to the report, Hill turned, attempting to face the trooper directly, pulling away from the trooper who was attempting to arrest. Hill was yelling, telling her to call her supervisor. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Mr. Hill was told to face away from me multiple times but did not comply. [I] attempted to place Mr. Hill under arrest, but Mr. Hill pulled away. [I] informed Mr. Hill multiple times that he was under arrest.” The trooper advised Troop A radio room to send her another unit. The passenger, later identified as Roshoda Stephens Latunda, 44, of Milledgeville, GA, then exited the vehicle extremely hostile and tried to approach the trooper from behind. According to the report, Ms. Stephens was screaming loudly and attempted to remove the trooper’s hands from Hill while Hill continued to physically resist arrest. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Due to being outnumbered and Mr. Hill’s large size, [I] stepped away from Mr. Hill and produced my state-issued X2 Taser, powering it on, and placing the lighted red dots on Mr. Hill’s abdomen. [I] informed Mr. Hill again to place his hands behind his back. Mr. Hill complied.” Hill was then placed in handcuffs. According to the report, Stephens continued to scream loudly and disobeyed all commands back up and get back in her vehicle. According to the report, “Ms. Stephens advised the reason she was not getting in the car was that she needed to show the trooper something on her phone regarding a shoulder surgery with Hill, but the only thing she was doing with her phone was video recording the traffic stop and shoving the phone in the troopers face. Stephens was advised she was free to video record, but she would need to back up. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Ms. Stephens was told over ten times to get away and to get into her vehicle. Lieutenant Shackleford and a Whitfield County deputy arrived on the scene and informed Ms. Stephens more times to get back in her vehicle. Mr. Hill then refused to sit down in the patrol vehicle. At this time, Ms. Stephens exited her vehicle and ran towards my patrol vehicle. Ms. Stephens continued to obstruct and disobey all commands.” At this time, Stephens was then advised she was under arrest for obstruction as well. According to the report, “Stephens then attempted to physically resist and pull away. Hill continued to scream about his shoulder while no one touched him. A Whitfield County deputy opened the driver-side rear door of my patrol car and had to assist Hill in the backseat while Hill continued to resist. Once Hill was in the vehicle, he continued to scream and yell. Trooper Shackleford reported, “Due to Mr. Hill complaining of a shoulder injury, other units remained on scene while [I] transported Mr. Hill to Hamilton Medical Center. The handcuffs were then placed in front of Mr. Hill, which was again checked and double locked. Once at the hospital, Mr. Hill was required to fill out a piece of paper from Hamilton Medical staff in order to be seen. Mr. Hill refused to sign any paperwork. Mr. Hill was then transported and released to Whitfield County Jail, where he was seen by the Whitfield County medical staff who advised that Mr. Hill did not need any kind of medical attention.” Stephens was also transported to the Whitfield County Jail by Trooper Whitfield. Hill and Stephens were both charged with felony obstruction of an officer by threat/violence. The child in the back seat who was crying throughout the incident was released to DFCS.