Who You Gonna call?
The Metro Spirit was privy to one of those late night bar situations that can happen anywhere. Only this one was different. In this one, a Richmond County Commission candidate got involved. Multiple sources shared the scene. A group of men had been playing golf most of the day at West Lake Country Club before heading to a local restaurant/bar. One of the group, who has been thrown out of the place a few times for being drunk and disorderly, gets upset that the fries he ordered arrived with blue cheese instead of ranch and ultimately throws the plate at the bartender.
At this point, the bouncer begins to escort the drunk out. That’s when Jay Blackburn intervenes for his friend, and one thing is made clear by nearly a dozen witnesses: the guy is a large man. He gets into it with the bouncer, then with a Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy who has intervened. A second Richmond County Deputy is alerted and joins the fray. Blackburn now is fighting, thoroughly resisting arrest. Ultimately, he is taken to the ground and handcuffed. Once on his feet, he continues to fight on his way to the patrol car. On the way out, he yells to his buddies repeatedly to “call Donnie Smith!”
This is where it gets troubling. Mr. Smith arrives a few minutes later in an “Elect Donnie Smith” t-shirt and begins cajoling one of the officers to let Blackburn go. But this officer is new to town and doesn’t know who Smith is. The officer explains that not only is he going to jail, he could have been charged with felony obstruction, adding “you can’t un-arrest someone”. He is astonished to find out later Smith is a Georgia State Patrol officer. Smith begins working on the other officer to let Blackburn go. He does not. He then turns his attention to the employee of the restaurant/bar who he thinks is responsible for the arrest. Smith states he knows who owns the business and informs him he won’t have a job once he gets in touch with them. The employee is the owner’s son.
It seems clear that once word got out that this was not an unobserved event, talking points were drawn up and stories were gotten in line.
Smith, not surprisingly, denies all.
But many of those close to the event question the judgment that would lead a Georgia State Patrol officer, not to mention a commission candidate with such backing and so much promise, to be defending the conduct of a drunk and disorderly 47 year old man who was just arrested for fighting fellow officers.
As one witness stated at the scene, is this a man we want to add to the commission? You Might Also Like: