A man accused of aggravated assault and battery on a peace officer is now facing a new charge of allegedly striking a jailer weeks before, according to court documents.
Eric Dante Pitt, 37, was charged in a Tuesday, Feb. 26 Hall County grand jury indictment with aggravated assault and aggravated battery on a peace officer as well as attempted removal of a public official’s weapon.
Another grand jury indictment was returned Monday, May 6 against Pitt alleging felony-level obstruction of an officer.
According to the indictment, Pitt is accused of striking a jailer Jan. 29 “in the face with (his) hand.”
Gainesville Police Officer Stephen Lucius encountered Pitt multiple times Saturday, Feb. 16, on the HomeTowne Studios property on Jesse Jewell Parkway. Police said Pitt was not allowed on the property, and Lucius tried to arrest him.
“Pitt struck our officer in the head multiple times with handcuffs, causing a laceration to the officer’s head that required medical attention,” Cpl. Jessica Van wrote in an email at the time of the incident.
Pitt’s previous attorney, Matt Cavedon, said he was “deeply concerned about the officer’s use of force in the (body camera) video.”
On March 1, Cavedon filed a motion for immunity from prosecution on the aggravated assault on a peace officer case.
"He violently resisted and attacked our officer. I believe the officer showed great restraint and control by preventing further injury to Mr. Pitt, bystanders and himself," Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish previously told The Times.
Tom Csider, who is now representing Pitt, said his client had been ruled incompetent to stand trial Tuesday.
Competency to stand trial concerns a defendant’s ability to effectively assist in defending themselves at trial and understanding the court proceedings.
“We’ll just have to wait and see how that turns out, and if he becomes competent, then he’ll have to answer to the charges one way or another,” Csider said.