ATLANTA – Officer Robert “Bobby” Golden was involved in a foot pursuit and arrest encounter last Monday evening when he was struck by a suspected DUI driver. The fleeing suspect was also hit by the automobile. Golden suffered what are described as extensive serious injuries, yet his recovery in just a few days is reportedly “nothing short of miraculous.”
Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said Golden was protecting his community when he was attempting to arrest an armed suspect, WSB-TV reported.
Police responded to a disturbance involving a man threatening a woman with a gun just before midnight in the 3800 block of Jonesboro Road in southeast Atlanta at the Exxon Gas Station.
Upon arrival, officers located a man who matched the description provided by dispatch. Although officers tried to talk to the individual, identified as Charles Arnold, 36, he fled on foot into the woods nearby.
Police established a perimeter around the area where Arnold fled. Not long after he ran onto a city street into oncoming traffic as officers tried to take him into custody. As police caught Arnold, he continued to physically resist arrest.
Several vehicles stopped in the street as the police action was taking place. However, a driver identified as Jason Haynes, who is accused of DUI, drove around the stopped cars and struck both the officer and suspect.
Golden, a four-year veteran with APD, was transported to the hospital and was initially listed in critical, but stable condition, according to the news outlet.
“Our officer and his family does need our prayers, and the Atlanta Police Department will be here with his family until he makes a full recovery” Schierbaum said shortly after the incident.
Arnold also sustained unspecified injuries but is expected to recover. He has been charged with several criminal offenses. Haynes was not injured and is facing DUI charges.
Officer Robert “Bobby” Golden. (Image via WSB-TV)
Chris Mercure, a colleague and friend of Golden, has been providing updates on a GoFundMe page that is benefitting the officer and his family, WSB-Radio reported.
Mercure made a note early Friday morning, saying a “miraculous breakthrough occurred in Bobby’s Intensive Care Unit room. I was sitting next to his bed and all of a sudden and out of nowhere, Bobby came to full awareness and he began talking with me 100% coherent. We talked for about an hour and a half.”
Medical staff caring for Golden said they were amazed at his improvement, according to Mecure. They reportedly asked one another, “Is that the same patient?”
The GoFundMe page described Golden’s condition as stable, but with a “substantial” recovery road still ahead.
“Officer Golden is married and has three children at home. He became a police officer to see improvement in the community he serves,” the page said. “His name is true to the character of his heart.”