The Brantley County Sheriff’s Department deputy suspended after a Ware man was reportedly beaten may have been Capt. Wade Bennett according to unconfirmed reports.
Bennett is a former member of the Ware County Sheriff’s Office brought onto the Brantley department by sheriff Jack Whisenant, who also was fomerly on the Ware County department.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is probing a Brantley County deputy’s arrest in Waycross of a man who later required treatment at an emergency room, officials said.
Whisenant confirmed that he had suspended one of his deputies with pay pending the outcome of a GBI investigation, but he declined to identify the officer.
The GBI took on the investigation at the request of Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal, said Russell Mansfield, special agent in charge of the GBI’s Douglas office.Royal said his office first got involved about 3 p.m. Thursday when deputies responded to a 911 call from a woman who said she was in a pawn shop on Memorial Drive in Waycross where she had found items she believed were taken from her home, Royal said.
The woman also called a Brantley County deputy to whom she was related, and he arrived at the pawn shop about the same time as deputies, Royal said.The Ware County deputies were still at the pawn shop dealing with the initial report of the burglary, which the victim had discovered about 1:30 p.m., “when the Brantley County deputy left the pawn shop unknown to us,” Royal said.
The Brantley County deputy returned later with Christopher Tyle Lee, 26, in custody and released him to Ware County, Royal said.
The Brantley County deputy had arrested Lee on an outstanding Ware County bench warrant issued for nonpayment of child support, Royal said.Because of Lee’s condition, Royal said his deputies asked for an EMS unit to come to the pawn shop.
“Mr. Lee was then transported by a Ware County deputy to the emergency room. He was treated there and transported to the Ware County jail,’’ Royal said.In a photo of Lee taken when he was booked into the Ware County jail Thursday, his left eye is swollen nearly shut and he appears to have a laceration under his left eyebrow. There is a black spot on the laceration that could be a suture.