Local deputy outnumbered in family feud

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

GEORGETOWN, GA (WTVM) -  A family fight in Quitman County got out of hand at a Georgetown home, landing four people in jail and leaving the lone sheriff's deputy on duty with injuries.

When Quitman County Sheriff's Deputy Jamie Ming responded to a domestic dispute at a house on Harrison Street, he turned on the camera at the bottom of his taser and captured a commotion.

Officials say the yelling was coming from 54-year-old Marvin McElroy, his girlfriend, 49-year-old Gwendolyn Davis and her two children- 26-year-old Eddie Davis and 19-year-old Valencia Davis.

At first, Ming says the situation was calm. McElroy and Davis had been arguing but she agreed to leave and called someone to pick her up.

When more family members arrived at the house, he says the situation quickly escalated. The deputy was outnumbered, caught in the middle of the pushing and shoving. Trying to break it up, he was hit with a 40 ounce beer bottle and wooden chair.

"When it's only one of you and you're dealing with anywhere from eight to ten people, you kind of have that feeling where you're not real sure how good this thing is going to go. I was in a very dangerous situation. It just got out of hand really fast and I'm glad that I didn't have to take any further action. It could have been very serious," Ming told WTVM.

But those involved in the incident tell a different story. Davis' daughter Valencia had bonded out of jail when we caught up with her. She says her family was trying to get warrants out on the sheriff and his deputies Friday because they overreacted and hit several people with flashlights.

Quitman County Sheriff Steve Newton came to back up the lone deputy.

Sheriff Newton says budget constraints have left his department short-handed. He's lobbied with the county commission to get more deputies so there can be more than one working at night.

"Domestic disturbances can be one of the most dangerous events a deputy goes to and just one deputy responding to a domestic is extremely dangerous. There needs to be at least two because even if there's just two people, you got to face one with all the others at your back and anything can happen to the deputy when his back is turned, as was the case here," the sheriff said.

McElroy and the Davis family were all charged with obstruction. Marvin McElroy and Valencia Davis also face charges of simple battery against a law enforcement officer. They have bonded out of jail.

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