Former officer facing possible indictment

PENDERGRASS - A former Duluth police officer is facing a possible indictment on simple battery charges, officials with the Gwinnett County District Attorney's office confirmed.

Eugene Flathmann was under investigation by Duluth Police Department internal investigators, accused of reportedly using excessive force on a woman during a Jan. 23 traffic stop. Flathmann is accused of dragging a woman and pulling her hair during the traffic stop that occurred just after midnight. Although the woman appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, she did not appear to be resisting arrest, according to police records.

Flathmann was given notice of termination in March. He filed an appeal, but resigned effective April 18 and withdrew his appeal. Soon after, the Pendergrass Police Department hired Flathmann as a part-time officer in training, but placed him on administrative leave after he had worked three shifts, according to Pendergrass Police Chief Rob Russell.

"He alerted us about a possible indictment," Russell said.

Russell, who is also an attorney, knew about the incident prior to hiring Flathmann.

"I worked with him at Suwanee PD, and I knew him to be a good officer," Russell said. "We viewed the video tape of the incident. The whole thing is a joke. We hope he will want to come back to work for us, but it is a souring experience. I became an attorney for the way policemen are treated."

A date has not yet been set for Flathmann to appear before the grand jury, according to a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.