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School officer hit by vehicle in foot chase

School and police officials brief the media after a school resource police officer was struck by a vehicle.


Officer Chuck McCallum

Officer Chuck McCallum

Video

Press Briefing: School police officer struck

School and police officials brief the media after a school resource police officer was struck by a vehicle.

School and police officials brief the media after a school resource police officer was struck by a vehicle.

photo

Jarvis Ruff

NORCROSS — A veteran school resource officer is expected to survive after he was struck by a vehicle following a fight and foot chase at Meadowcreek High School on Thursday morning, officials said.

Officer Chuck McCallum, 53, was hospitalized with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, said Gwinnett Public Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach.

McCallum works in the neighboring Norcross Cluster but was called to Meadowcreek to assist when officials learned that at least three students had left campus following a fight in the school commons area, where students eat lunch. The fight was broken up by administrators and teachers, Roach said.

McCallum was pursuing students involved in the fight when he was struck by a Toyota passenger car driven by Meadowcreek student Jarvis Ruff, 17, who reportedly drove away. Impact occurred a short distance from the school on Steve Reynolds Boulevard at Windward Drive, police said.

Investigators were trying to determine Thursday if Ruff, a junior, was involved in the fight or not and why he was off campus.

“We don’t know if (the fight) has anything to with what happened to this officer,” Roach said at an afternoon press conference.

Gwinnett police were dispatched at 10:48 a.m. to assist the officer, and they found two students aiding him in the street when they arrived. One student pointed out Ruff, who had turned around and was driving past the scene, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith.

Officers drove after Ruff for about 1/4 mile until he veered off the roadway and crashed through a stone entrance sign for the Indian Trail Apartment Homes community. The car plummeted down an wooded embankment and caught fire as Ruff fled into the woods, where he was soon captured, Smith said.

Officers put out the small fire, which was contained to the vehicle’s engine area, with portable extinguishers, Smith said.

Ruff, who was not injured, was arrested on charges of speeding, hit and run, no drivers license, reckless driving, improper lane change and failure to report striking a fixed object.

Smith said it wasn’t clear if Ruff meant to hit the officer. Further charges are under investigation.

“The car did not belong to (Ruff) but we have no information that it was stolen,” he said.

McCallum has been employed by the school system since 1998, Roach said. The cause of the lunchroom fight is under investigation, she said.

“This is something we take very seriously,” she said.

Comments

Don 1 year, 10 months ago

Wishing Officer Chuck McCallum a quick and speedy recovery. I have known him for four years on a professional level after meeting him during a sporting event that he works for GCPS. Always has a great smile and the best interest of the kids in mind.

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HonestIngine 1 year, 10 months ago

Ditto... Don... Chuck is a First Class all the way... I've known him over10 years and have a lot of respect for the job he does... Hoping all the best for a speedy recovery....

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earlyam 1 year, 10 months ago

Wishing Officer Chuck the best- he is a great guy who cares a lot about all of the kids and teachers that he works with. Not to be rude, but I hope they nail that Ruff kid to the wall for this!!

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R 1 year, 10 months ago

Glad the officer will be OK...

I would like to ask how this student had a car on campus WITHOUT a drivers license?

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Don 1 year, 10 months ago

R- It the same as all the others that get pulled over for driving without a license! I mean look we have an illegal immigrant taking a case to the GA Supreme court for being arrested for driving without a license! He should just be deported.

All these thugs feel it is their right to do whatever they want!

I just hope that Chuck recovers 100% and get back to work soon.

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Mack711 1 year, 10 months ago

THUG is the correct word. Look at his mug shot. Has the expression that no one can touch me. Well young man you are 17 and can , and should be, charged as an Adult. Striking an officer is bad enough, but with a motor vehicle is even worse. No special treatment because he is under 18. Maybe some time in an Adult prision may change his mind, and attitude.

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NewsReader 1 year, 10 months ago

Absolutely, send him to the big house so he can acquaint himself with other like minded individuals.

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dastedman 1 year, 10 months ago

There is much we do not know here, except that we all pray for this brave officers recovery. Did he target and deliberately strike the officer? Was this an illegal immigrant? Was the car stolen? Or, was this an unbalanced kid involved in a chain of bad decisions that just got worse and worse? A mug shot really tells us nothing. I'm not defending him or what he did. I just think we need a lot more facts before we start calling for hard time in an adult prison. NewsReader is right that there is a great likelihood that that action will turn the kid into a career criminal.

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