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Officers won’t face charges in traffic stop shooting

POSTED: September 11, 2013 12:22 a.m.

Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh announced Tuesday his office will not pursue charges in an Aug. 20 Gainesville Police Department officer-involved shooting.

“As district attorney, at the request of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, I have thoroughly reviewed the GBI report concerning the (incident) ... (and) it is my considered opinion that officers (Bryan) Woods and (Peter) Bartholomew were legally justified in discharging their firearms during the incident, resulting in injury to Tracey Marie Dean Seidel,” Darragh said in a news release.

“In that the officers acted appropriately in doing so, this office will take no action other than the continued prosecution of Ms. Seidel, who has been charged with crimes related to the incident, with the officers as witnesses.”

The GBI looked into the incident at Skelton and Bowman roads in Gainesville, which started when, police said, Seidel eluded a traffic stop, hit the officers and their vehicles with her car and ended with Woods and Bartholomew firing shots at her.

Police searched the area, and Seidel was found about two hours later less than half a mile from the site of the traffic stop in the car with serious injuries consistent with gunshot wounds, police said.

Chief Brian Kelly said Siedel’s actions were “extremely unfortunate” and left the officers in harm’s way with “no other option (than) to respond with force.”

“I am grateful our officers were not seriously injured and we are pleased to be able to place the officers back onto full unrestricted duty after receiving notification today from the Hall County district attorney that each officer was legally justified in discharging their firearms and that they acted appropriately in doing so,” Kelly said.

Seidel is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, battery, hit and run, criminal interference with government property, possession of cocaine, possession of a drug-related object, driving under the influence and felony obstruction.

She also faces several traffic charges: center turn lane violation, no headlights after dark, two counts of failure to maintain lane, running a stop sign, improper transfer of a tag, no insurance, driving with a suspended license, no seat belt, driving with suspended registration, failure to report accident with injury and failure to stop at accident with damage.

She was convicted in August 2010 for possession of cocaine, crossing the guard line, open container and a suspended license.


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