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Gwinnett police officer arrested following incident with handgun

Ryan Christopher Head

Ryan Christopher Head

LAWRENCEVILLE — A now-former Gwinnett County police officer was arrested Sunday following an incident involving a handgun and a witness to a crime.

Ryan Christopher Head, a five-year veteran of the Gwinnett County Police Department, was arrested Sunday and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. He was released on bond the same day and resigned in lieu of termination, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Head’s arrest stemmed from the department’s investigation into a Saturday vehicle accident.

According to police, Head was a passenger in the at-fault vehicle during a hit-and-run. A witness reportedly called 911, followed the vehicle and blocked it in in a nearby cul-de-sac.

“Witnesses reported that Head exited the vehicle, produced a handgun and tapped on the witness’ window with it,” Smith said. “There was no physical confrontation, no shots were fired, and the weapon was not pointed directly at any person.”

According to warrants obtained by the Daily Post, that incident happened between 10 and 10:15 p.m. on Great Oaks Drive, a residential street just off Webb Gin House Road near Lawrenceville. Further details about the hit-and-run — including the nature of the crash, the location and the identity of the driver — were not released Monday.

Smith said Head was “verbally belligerent” but did not physically resist arrest by fellow GCPD officers.

“(Expletive) you,” Head told a responding officer, according to warrants. “Don’t (expletive) with me. I’m a (expletive) cop.”

Listed as an Auburn resident, Head was booked into the Gwinnett County jail at 12:21 a.m. Sunday and released about eight hours later on $3,700 bond.

“Per Gwinnett County’s Merit Rules, Head was served with a letter noting the department’s intention to terminate his employment on Sunday, June 1, 2014,” Smith said in a news release. “He resigned in lieu of termination.”

Smith said no further information would be released Monday. Initial incident reports were not yet available.

The investigation is ongoing and officials said the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council would be “notified of this arrest and the results of the investigation.”