Varnell police officer resigns, accused of inappropriately touching woman at gas station
VARNELL, Ga. —
A Varnell police officer resigns ahead of being fired, accused of inappropriately touching an 18-year-old woman at a gas station.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is now investigating the incident involving Sergeant Patrick Hayes.
It happened at the Circle K convenience store at 4187 Georgia Highway 2 in Cohutta around 1 a.m. on July 5th.
The woman and her fiance were fueling up when Hayes approached and struck up a conversation. The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office report says both of them know Hayes.
The report says as they were leaving, Hayes slapped the woman on the backside. She says she told Hayes not to do that, at which he replied, "Do you want it again?"
When she said no and quickly got into the car, she told police she felt Haye's hand graze her backside again.
Her fiance corroborated the story, telling police he'd seen Hayes slap the woman, and her immediate response to the officer.
They filed the incident report after getting home.
According to the Varnell Police Department's report, surveillance video backed up the woman's claims. The department says Hayes was immediately suspended without pay.
Sergeant Hayes had been with the Varnell City Police Department for 11 years.