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Rincon Police ‘showed restraint’ during July 5 incident
Chatham County Sheriff Office deputy arrested
police light

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

A traffic stop by Rincon Police on July 5 resulted in the arrest of a Chatham County Sheriff deputy in Rincon.

Video and audio of the incident show Rincon Police officers confronting CCSO Deputy Carlos Petiote in Rincon Friday, July 5. The initial traffic stop was for violation of Georgia’s “move over” law.

Petiote was ultimately arrested for refusing to sign the citation, in accordance with Georgia law. He was booked into Effingham County jail and posted bond on Saturday.

According to Georgia law, signing the citation is not an admission of guilt, but rather acknowledging an obligation to appear for trial. Refusing to sign gives the officer reasonable cause to believe the person will not appear at trial, and also requires the person to post a cash bond.

Rincon Police Department issued a statement July 8 stating in part, “The Rincon city manager and police chief have reviewed the camera footage and the incident report, and firmly stand behind their officers. We are fully cooperating with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office investigation.”

“Our officers showed restraint and patience during a very unfortunate situation,” said City Manager Jonathan Lynn.

“The traffic violation that initiated the stop is a very important law,” added Police Chief Jonathon Murrell. “When people don’t obey it, lives are lost.”

Georgia’s “move over” law requires drivers to move over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of a highway. If it is unsafe to move over, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit and to be prepared to stop.