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Gainesville Police officer charged with assault, terminated from job
Derek Evatt.jpg
Derek Evatt

A Gainesville Police officer was let go Monday from the city after being charged with aggravated assault, the department said.

Derek Evatt, 40, of Gainesville, was arrested Monday, Jan. 28, and booked in to the Hall County Jail after a complaint was filed last week in regard to an off-duty domestic incident in 2017 involving a minor, Sgt. Kevin Holbrook said. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation worked on that case and said it was active. 

“Although a sad and unfortunate situation, if an officer violates the law, they will face consequences. I, along with my administration, expect all officers to conduct themselves ethically, honestly and with integrity both on and off-duty,” Chief Jay Parrish said in a statement. “We do appreciate the complainant coming forward to seek our assistance in this matter. It is important for us to be as transparent as possible for the community we serve and protect. We have a partnership with the citizens of this community; therefore, processes are in place to ensure that confidence and public trust is maintained.”

According to the warrant, Evatt was accused of impeding the breathing of a 14-year-old boy “for approximately 15 seconds” by holding him off the floor and “applying pressure to (the boy’s) throat and chest.”

The warrant said this allegedly occurred on Aug. 27, 2017.

“It’s an allegation from several years ago, and he is innocent until proven guilty. We look forward to defending the case,” defense attorney Jeff Talley said.

Holbrook did not know immediately if Evatt resigned or was fired.