Sheriff: Sergeant hospitalized after assault; suspect shot by bystander

- A chaotic scene in Dawson County Tuesday afternoon where what started out a good deed ended in gunfire and injuries.

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It started at a Chevron on Georgia Highway 400 after 52-year-old Sgt. Randy Harkness gave a man a courtesy ride. Sheriff Jeff Johnson said the Harkness had given the man a courtesy ride to the gas station to help him out with a bit of money.

“He then began to give the gentleman some money just to help him out and the suspect began to physically assault him,” said Sheriff Johnson.

The sheriff said an unidentified woman in her late 20s in a car at the Chevron witnessed the assault, got out of her car, gun in hand, and fired at suspect Justin Foster while he was attacking Harkness. Eyewitnesses in the gas station saw it unfold.

“She shot off, a round. The guy got off the police officer and she shot another round and he was running that way I think, there was three shots,” said Aseem Kahn, owner of the station.

The sheriff’s office told FOX 5 News, Foster, who’d been hit by at least one slug, ran across the street to this McDonald’s where he attacked an elderly woman in the parking lot.

Sharon Cheek, shift manager at the McDonald’s told FOX 5 News it appeared the homeless man had been trying to steal the woman’s car.

“He told her, looked at her, and told her she was dead, and then punched her square in the nose, 75 years there was no sense,’ said Cheek.

Cheek said before he could do more harm a couple of customers subdued him.

“Punched him, then got him on the ground and started beating him he was holding him down ‘til the cops got here,” said Cheek.

Neither of the men who subdued the suspect nor the woman who shot him wanted to speak publicly.

“They are the heroes because they kept him from injuring anybody else,” said Cheek.

“It could have been worse, mate, thank you for that lady who was carrying,” said Kahn.

Dawson County District Attorney’s Office is involved in the investigation.  The sheriff says the Good Samaritan will not face charges.

“I truly believe she’s a hero I believe she thankfully saved this officer’s life,” said Sheriff Johnson.

Sheriff Johnson told FOX 5 News Sgt. Harkness has been with the Department 24-years.

The sheriff said Harkness and the woman who was injured were both treated and released from the hospital.

The man who was shot is still recovering at the hospital and is facing numerous charges, including criminal attempt to commit murder.

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