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Badge & Bar: Charges lessened for man accused of shooting at utility workers in W. Hall

POSTED: September 4, 2013 11:48 p.m.
/The Times

Donald Josh Deal

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Felony charges were dropped against a Gainesville man who fired shots at utility workers on Dec. 26 in West Hall County.

Donald Josh Deal, 62, was charged with two counts of reckless conduct and obstruction of an officer, all misdemeanors, on Aug. 8, according to court records.

Deal was initially charged with two counts of aggravated assault after firing multiple shots at the workers around midnight after Christmas.

Deal fired “at least two shots” in the direction of a Jackson Electric Membership Corp. crew, which responded to a downed tree on a power line in the 4200 block of Holland Drive off Browns Bridge Road, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

In counts 1 and 2 of the indictment from Hall County State Court, Deal is described as firing his gun in the direction of workers Pedro Artega and Kevin Cash while “heavily intoxicated.”

No one was injured in the incident, and the utility workers left the area and called 911.

Deal was charged with obstruction in count 3 for refusing to leave his house when first asked by deputies.

The SWAT team was called in and Deal “voluntarily exited his residence and was taken into custody without further incident” around 2 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

Deal’s next appearance in court has not yet been scheduled.

Gainesville man indicted on rape, kidnapping charges by grand jury

A Gainesville man was indicted Aug. 29 by a Hall County grand jury on charges of kidnapping with bodily injury, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and cruelty to a child in the third degree.

Pedro Angel Pacheco, 28, is alleged to have committed the acts between Oct. 11 and Oct. 15 of last year.

Court records state he kidnapped the victim “by grabbing her by the hair and dragging her to a vehicle,” and took her to his apartment.

According to the indictment, Pacheco sexually assaulted, beat to the point of broken bones and burned the victim with a cigarette on her nose while he held her against her will.

The cruelty to a child charges stem from the allegation he committed violence against the victim in the presence of children.

Pacheco is scheduled to be arraigned in Hall County Superior Court on Dec. 10.

He is being held in Hall County Jail without bond. Court records state the Texas native is a “flight risk” trying to leave the state.

Enforcement Bureau head to attend conference on violence against women

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office announced Maj. John Latty who leads the Enforcement Bureau will be one of 30 law enforcement executives around the country to attend a national conference on violence against women next week.

The 16th National Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women is being hosted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police in Savannah, and runs Monday through Sept. 12.

The goal of the conference is to enhance the law enforcement response to violence against women by sharing information on key topics, toward the goal of implementing best practices in Hall County, the sheriff’s office said.

Key topics explored will include investigating domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking.

Attendance at the Institute is supported by a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the sheriff’s office said.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:



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