Former Varnell police sergeant charged with sexual battery

Patrick John Hayes

A former Varnell Police Department sergeant was arrested Wednesday by the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office after being indicted by a grand jury for misdemeanor sexual battery.

Patrick John Hayes was released from the county jail on a $1,000 bond. He did not immediately return a telephone message left Friday afternoon.

The indictment says that on July 5, 2018, Hayes "placed his hand into contact" with the buttocks of a woman without her consent "as she was walking away from him."

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office incident report, on July 5, 2018, at 2:19 a.m. a sheriff's office sergeant arrived at a residence to speak to a woman "about a complaint on an officer." The report said the woman told the sergeant she and her fiance had been at a Circle K convenience store between 1 and 1:40 a.m

"They had purchased some items and fuel. They were at their vehicle at fuel pump 6 when Sgt. Hayes of the Varnell Police Department approached them and started a conversation," the report said. The report said the two knew Hayes, and after the woman told Hayes "she needed to get home" he "hugged her."

The report said that as the woman was going to get into the car, "Hayes slapped her on the butt."

The report said the woman told Hayes, "Don`t smack me on the a--" and Hayes replied, "Do you want it again," "to which she stated 'No,'" according to the report.

The woman said she started to sit in the vehicle and "felt Sgt. Hayes' hand graze against her butt again."

The fiance said he saw Hayes "slap" the woman "on the butt" and heard her say "Don't smack me on the a--." The fiance said he heard Hayes "reply" to her but did not hear what he said.

The city of Varnell placed Hayes on unpaid administrative leave the next day.

An incident report written by Varnell Police Chief Lyle Grant said at a meeting of Mayor Tom Dickson, City Manager Mike Brown and Grant on July 9 the decision was made to fire Hayes for “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

That incident report said Hayes was accused of "inappropriately touching" a female as she was getting into her vehicle at the Circle K. The report said Grant and Deputy Chief Greg Fowler reviewed the surveillance video at the store and “found that the complaint was substantiated and Officer Hayes did touch the female victim inappropriately.”

Hayes, who had worked for the police department for 11 years, resigned on July 10, 2018, after an investigation was begun by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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