Sandy Springs Police arrested pedestrian Chris Price on July 15 after he displayed erratic behavior, when they talked to him on Lake Placid Drive. He was charged with being under the influence, disorderly conduct and obstruction.
Price believes he was wrongly arrested after making the officer angry, when he came upon him sitting on a guardrail. Price admits that his behavior was erratic, adding that he had just left 5 Seasons Brewing, where his sister is an employee.
“I freaked out,” he told Patch in a phone call. “I went from Sandy Springs to Alpharetta [jail]. I’m screaming because he had no right to stop me. I was pounding the walls talking about killing myself.”
Price said he was later taken to Peachford Hospital where he stayed for 9 days.
The 27-year-old described a history of mental illness and said he has studied up on his legal rights, as a result. He said he has pending charges in Johns Creek for entering someone’s home after taking trazadone and hallucinating.
In the Sandy Springs incident, police believe they found synthetic marijuana on Price.
Below is an excerpt from the Sandy Springs Police Report prepared by Officer Ortega on July 15, followed by an excerpt from Price’s Letter to the Editor.
From the Police Report
"Due to a recent significant increase of crimes in this particular area (entering-an-auto), we made contact with the male who was later identified as the offender. The male immediately became belligerent with us and refused to answer most of our questions as to who he was, what he was doing sitting on the guardrail, or where he lived. He started using profanity towards us and said that we had no right to talk to him because we would be violating his constitutional rights and that he didn’t like police."
The report said that despite Price’s behavior officers were going to let him go – Price was on foot - but he started to enter the roadway. After shouting profanity at the officers and appearing intoxicated, Price started to flee, the report said, and the police ran after him.
The report continues…"After a brief foot pursuit; [an officer] was able to catch the Offender. The offender began to resist with Officer Gomez and a struggle ensued. I then assisted Officer Gomez, but the offender continued to resist despite us giving him loud verbal commands to stop resisting and to place his hands behind his back. I was then able to handcuff his left hand and we were able to get him on the ground where we successfully handcuffed both of his arms while Sgt. McNabb held his head to prevent him from biting or spitting at us. After the offender was secured, we performed a search incident to a lawful arrest…"
Excerpt from Price's Letter to the Editor
…As I am walking down the street, I notice a cop car that is stopped in the middle of the road. I figure that since I'm new to the area and am doing nothing wrong I might as well keep walking straight ahead rather than turn around and make a 15 minute detour.
If something is going on I expected that the cop would tell me to turn around and find a different route. I keep walking and am about to walk past Officer Ortega, when he calls out to me and asks me to stop.
He asks me why I am "walking in a high crime area at night," "where are you coming from," "where are you going?," etc. I attempt to explain to him that I am simply walking back to my condo. As we are standing there, more cops pull up behind me. I attempt to explain to Ortega that he has no legal right to stop and detain a random pedestrian. The other cops get out and he starts talking to them. I start demanding to know what is going on and Ortega just starts screaming "will you just shut up!"
None of the cops had the decency to tell me that they were responding to a call unrelated to me. So since I was doing nothing wrong and Ortega had no right to stop me in the first place I start walking away.
Out of nowhere I get grabbed from behind, forced into a cop car and taken to Alpharetta Jail. At the jail I start freaking out and trying to explain to the officers that I was illegally arrested. They just stand around laughing. I freak out some more and get sent to the emergency room out of concern for my safety.
From the emergency room I get sent off to Peachford behavioral hospital for a nine-day stay to stabilize me. After the hospital stay, I am forced to pay $700 to bond out of jail…
...I have multiple witnesses who saw me leave the restaurant and who knew I was capable of walking home. Now, I no longer have a job or health insurance and must use my savings to pay for a hospital stay…