A University of Georgia basketball player who joined the Bulldogs after transferring from George Mason University during the off-season was recently arrested by Gwinnett County deputies. He was arrested on reckless and aggressive driving-related charges after he was observed allegedly driving nearly 100 mph and weaving through traffic on State Route 316.
Justin Kier was pulled over by Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputies at 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, after he was seen driving an SUV at a high rate of speed and weaving through multiple lanes of traffic on State Route 316.
“I was able to catch up to the vehicle and paced it from Cedars Road and Highway 316 until Highway 316 and Loganville Highway,” Deputy D.E. Henry wrote in his arrest report. “During this time, I was able to maintain the speed of the vehicle in question and my patrol car at 93 mph to perform a speed pace test on Highway 316 eastbound in (a) 55 mph zone. My reading was seen by myself on both my dash speedometer and Garmin GPS which is located and mounted to my patrol vehicle.”
Kier was charged with reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding (34-44 over) and improper or erratic lane change or failure to maintain lane charges.
The arrest report states he was allegedly using the grass area on the side of the road to get around other vehicles on SR 316, and not using a turn signal. The high rates of speed were allegedly maintained while driving through construction areas as well as around other vehicles on the highway.
“I witnessed the black SUV displaying (a) New Jersey tag ... swerving in and out of traffic with other vehicles present,” Henry wrote in the report. “Multiple times, I witnessed the black SUV go over the white line of the right side of the road on (the) right lane of travel, even entering emergency lane and grass area.
“I witnessed the black SUV overtake vehicles while entering the emergency lane, utilizing the grass shoulder and once again enter the left lane of travel while maintaining a speed above 85 mph.”
After the SUV crossed into Barrow County, sheriff’s deputies from that county joined the pursuit and helped stop the vehicle at SR 316 and Smith Cemetery.
The report states that a total of five people were in the vehicle, including Kier, three other unidentified UGA basketball players and an unidentified female. The other basketball players said they were not Georgia residents. The occupants of the car allegedly told deputies they had been smoking marijuana in the SUV.
“A search was performed by Barrow County deputies,” the report states. “Multiple ‘Roaches’ of marijuana were found in the vehicle. Due to the nature of the traffic stop and myself and Barrow County deputies, we felt it necessary to contact UGA athletics department and notify them we had three of their men’s basketball players detained and one men’s basketball player under arrest.”
Deputies contacted UGA Director of Operations for Men’s Basketball Heather McCormick and Assistant Basketball Coach Jake Thelen about the incident, according to the arrest report.
No charges were filed for the marijuana possession, according to the report.
“Barrow County did not want to arrest on the misdemeanor amount of marijuana and felt it better to release the individuals to the assistant coach who was then inbound to get his players and the female,” Henry wrote in the report.
Kier is a Grottoes, Va. native who was a three-year starter at George Mason from 2016-2019, but he missed most of the 2019-2020 season after he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot.
UGA Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Crean said the athletic department is handling the matter internally.
“The report is disappointing and not reflective of the standards we expect for our basketball program,” Crean said. “In addition to University disciplinary processes, we are addressing the incident internally according to Athletic Association policies. I’m hopeful these measures will result in both lessons learned and better choices in the future.”