Hamilton Mill Teen Tased, Arrested for Disorderly Conduct
Incident occurred after teen was questioned regarding property damage in the neighborhood.
Gwinnett County Police were called to the Dacula neighborhood after a homeowner saw three males breaking off fence post toppers. An officer spotted three males matching the description given by the homeowner. Two of the males were carrying “private residence” signs. When the officer stopped to question the teens, one of the males, later identified as 17-year-old Joseph O’Donovan, reportedly asked the officer what authority he had to prevent them from leaving. The officer explained the three teens were being detained for the purpose of investigating the reported property damage.
According to the police report, O’Donovan refused to provide his name or date of birth. In the report, the officer wrote that O’Donovan called him an “obviously uneducated person” and asked if the officer was a Christian or believed in “some other sort of false religion.”
“He stated I wasn’t used to someone that wasn’t afraid of my authority. That all I had was a badge and a gun,” the officer wrote. “He stated that he didn’t have to tell me a thing.”
O’Donovan allegedly used profanity throughout the conversation. The officer advised O’Donovan to stop cursing in public to which O’Donovan reportedly replied, “What you gunna [sic] do arrest me, point your gun at me?”
“Mr. O’Donovan continued on about how I was just doing mindless things, harassing kids walking home from the skate park and that he didn’t think police officers belonged in society,” the officer noted in the arrest report.
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O’Donovan also reportedly questioned why the officer was investigating the property damage incident since “no one was hurt by it.” When the officer explained the property owners were monetarily damaged, O’Donovan reportedly responded that the world is “all about money and that all we needed to do to stop people from doing bad things was to talk and reason with them, not arrest them.”
Another officer spoke with the homeowner that initially reported the property damage. After the homeowner advised she was unable to positively identify the accused vandals, the investigating officer informed O’Donovan and the other two teens that they could leave.
As O’Donovan walked away, he allegedly continued to yell at the officers and shout profanities at them. At one point, O’Donovan reportedly shouted “[Expletive deleted] the pigs” within hearing distance of the officers and a group of juveniles.
The two officers then approached O’Donovan and informed him he was under arrest for disorderly conduct.
“Mr. O’Donovan continued to be aggressive and defiant stating that he was not under arrest,” the officer wrote in the report. When the officer attempted to place O’Donovan in handcuffs, O’Donovan “pulled away stating that he was not going to jail.”
The officer warned O’Donovan that if he did not comply, he would be tased. O’Donovan again pulled away and began to run at which point the officer tased him.
O’Donovan was placed in handcuffs and escorted to the patrol car. Emergency medical personnel were called to the scene to check O’Donovan’s vital signs and make sure he was uninjured. The officer maintained a hold of O’Donovan’s arm while the teen was being assessed by medical personnel. O’Donovan reportedly asked the officer to stop touching him and then inquired if he “liked little boys.”
“He continued to make snide comments to me saying ‘[expletive deleted] you cop,’ ‘‘[expletive deleted] you pig’ and ‘give me a kiss’ as he leaned into me as I was placing him in my car,” the officer wrote in the report. “He stated that people like me are obsolete and will be extinct soon anyway.”
O’Donovan was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction. He was released the following day on a $5,900 bond.