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Nicholas Thomas narrowly missed hitting an officer in 2013 | Crime

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Nicholas Thomas narrowly missed hitting an officer in 2013
Crime, News
Nicholas Thomas narrowly missed hitting an officer in 2013

KENNESAW, GA (WXIA) -- Community activists and the family of Nicholas Thomas continued their call Wednesday for the GBI to investigate his death at the hands of a police officer.

They gathered at the scene where it all played out a week ago at the Goodyear Service Center on Cumberland Boulevard at Paces Ferry Road in Vinings, where Thomas worked.

Smyrna Police were serving a warrant on Thomas for a probation violation. Thomas was driving a customer's Maserati around the back of the facility when officers told him to get out of the car. He didn't do so.

Police said he then tried to back up over a uniformed officer, and that's when Smyrna Police Sergeant Kenneth Owens shot into the car, killing Thomas.

A lot has been made about how many officers were at the Goodyear Service Center in Vinings to serve the warrant on Thomas. Three officers from the Smyrna Police Department and at least three from the Cobb County Police Department were on hand providing back-up.

It is likely, that, as we first reported, Thomas had a lengthy record of past arrests for fleeing police numerous times. Now, we have video of the incident that landed him behind bars.

It was two years ago, when Kennesaw State University Police tried to pull over Thomas for speeding in a Nissan 350Z. The incident became a chase, caught on dash cams videos from several vantage points.

At one point, Thomas turned, driving at another officer, and narrowly missing him.

The chase continued, with another patrol car coming forward to perform a PIT maneuver, tapping the rear bumper of Thomas' car to spin it around and bring it to a stop before pinning it in with the patrol car.

Thomas initially put up his hands, but then made a move. Police officers pulled their guns and arrested him.

Then, as officers transported Thomas to jail, he had choice words for those who put him in handcuffs, yelling and screaming at them.

"This is not my first rodeo, and I hope y'all know that," Thomas said. "Y'all hit my vehicle! You could have killed me! You could have risked my life! That's why we run! We scared of y'all! Y'all can take our life! Y'all can put section codes and things that can mess us up! You happy with that?"

Thomas ended up pleading guilty to charges of fleeing police and aggravated assault against an officer using a car to try to hit one of them, and he did serve time for that.

As for what happened in Vinings last week, Owens, the officer who shot and killed Thomas, maintains through his lawyer that he was justified in using deadly force to stop Thomas because he was threatening the life of another officer by backing up the car toward him.

Cobb County Police are investigating the Vinings incident and will take its findings to the Cobb County District Attorney's office. At that point, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation could be called in to review those findings.

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