Hall County emergency medical service workers spent about an hour hoisting wounded Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Gilleland out of the ravine in a wooded area near Oliver Road in South Hall after the 11 p.m. incident, using a stretcher and basket attached to a rope.
Hall County Sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Strickland said officials initially believed Gilleland may have sustained a broken arm and leg.
"Emergency medical personnel advised us the officers were very lucky to not have more serious injuries," Strickland said. The deputies and the man they were chasing landed in mostly mud and rain-softened dirt.
The incident started with a call to a domestic disturbance on Stone Ridge Drive at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, where 20-year-old Wesley Allen Satterfield, who had an outstanding warrant on a charge of violating his probation, saw deputies arriving and ran, Strickland said. Gilleland and canine handler Kevin Snyder, with his police dog, gave chase into woods behind Satterfield’s house.
About 100 yards into the woods, all three men — and the dog — ran into a steep drop off and fell into the ravine. Snyder, his dog and the suspect were able to walk out about a quarter mile away from the drop-off, emerging from the woods near another home. Gilleland, who was in severe pain, was deemed too much of a risk to walk out and was lifted out on a stretcher, Strickland said.
All three men were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where they were treated and released early Wednesday morning. The dog was not seriously injured.
The deputies were recovering at home Wednesday and will report back to work after a doctor approves their return to duty, Strickland said.
Satterfield, charged with two counts of felony obstruction and probation violation, remains in the Hall County jail.