Douglas County sheriff candidate denies attacking mother of child

A law enforcement source told the FOX 5 I-Team early Tuesday morning that Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office deputies were searching for Douglas County sheriff candidate Shedarren Fanning.

The Atlanta Police Department commander is accused of attacking the mother of his child on May 14 in Loganville, leaving her bruised and bloodied, with injuries to her face.

Fanning, 35, denied the allegations when questioned by Gwinnett County police. But, a neighbor's surveillance camera reportedly recorded his APD vehicle at the scene at the time of the alleged incident.

Fanning posted on social media at 9:20 a.m. that he was not on the run. FOX 5 learned soon after that the APD commander had turned himself in to Gwinnett County police. Shortly after that, we caught up with him at the police station.

Fanning told FOX 5 that he did not do what he is accused of doing and that he has video that supports his claim. Fanning said that he is the one who was attacked during the incident, and he turned himself in to Gwinnett police in an effort to clear his name. 

Fanning was charged with family violence battery, cruelty to children, simple assault and willful obstruction. He was released on bond around 1 p.m. 

Fanning is one of three running in today's Democratic primary to be Douglas County sheriff. The I-Team earlier reported how Fanning was caught making inappropriate comments to a female subordinate while on duty.

The FOX 5 I-Team told you earlier this month that he is also the only candidate that has been locked up in the Douglas County Jail.

Fanning was stopped for driving under the influence on Jan. 8, 2023. The DUI charge was ultimately dismissed and Fanning says the stop was "politically motivated." However, he provided no evidence of that to the I-Team.

Sheriff Pounds, who is running for re-election, told the FOX 5 I-Team that  "it was months and months before I knew he’d been arrested."

A spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol said "DPS is aware of the accusations made by Mr. Fanning.  There was an investigation conducted, and TFC Freeman was found to have operated within departmental guidelines and state law."

Fanning told FOX 5 I-Team that someone had recently put copies of his mug shot on mailboxes in the community.

A voter in Douglas County opposed to his candidacy posted an APD video obtained through the Open Records Act that raised different questions about Fanning.

The video — recorded on August 28, 2023 — is from Fanning’s body camera as he drove through downtown Atlanta. He talks on the phone with a female subordinate officer about their relationship.

"It makes it feel more weird knowing that I’m your supervisor," he said. "Whether you loving somebody or you care about somebody whether we remain friends or whether one day a ring’s on your finger… I’m still gonna be loving toward you because it’s easy to love somebody."

The FOX 5 I-Team obtained its own copy of the videos. We read some of the comments to Fanning and asked whether they rang a bell.

"How is something I don’t know who sent it rings a bell?" he said.

Those videos even made it to Atlanta City Council. In a Public Safety Committee meeting on April 22, Councilman Antonio Lewis asked the command staff about Fanning’s comments.

"The videos that I received of Lt. Fanning, we shouldn’t have a person doing these type of things," Lewis said. "I’d at least like to know something about it."

The FOX 5 I-Team later emailed Fanning the videos and transcript of his conversations with that subordinate APD officer.

He did not respond.

RELATED: Georgia voters head to polls for primary election on Tuesday

The other candidate on the ballot in Douglas County Tuesday is Cyrus Colley, who reportedly has 16 years of experience in law enforcement.