A Mercer Police officer punched a fellow officer in the face Jan. 20 after an argument occurred between the two around 3 a.m.
According to the incident report, Joseph Calloway and his supervisor, Cpl. Wesley Hillard got into a verbal argument about a noise complaint dispatched that morning, resulting in one officer punching the other.
Gary Collins, chief of police at Mercer, described the incident as a “dispute between two grown men that got out of control, which should not have ever reached the level it did.” Collins was away from the office at the time of the incident and returned after receiving a call about the dispute.
The incident took place in a Mercer Police interview room, within their office.
Hillard claims in the report that he attempted to resolve their disagreement verbally and asked Calloway to take a seat. However, according to Hillard in the report, Calloway became angry, rushed toward him and Hillard “feared for his safety” which lead to Hillard punching Calloway.
Calloway claims in the report that a verbal argument occurred when he arrived at the station, which lead to Hillard punching him below his left eye. Both officers stated that the incident began over a noise complaint dispatched over the radio.
Calloway sought medical attention at the emergency room after the altercation occurred. The report stated that he had a large welt and swelling below his left eye where he was punched.
A member of Macon’s police department appeared at the scene of the incident and filed the report later that day. The officer mentioned in the report that Mercer’s police department handled the incident internally.
“The person throwing the punch, unfortunately, he was a supervisor and you can’t do that when you’re in that position,” said Chief Collins. Hillard has resigned since the incident occurred.
Chief Collins also stated that there was disciplinary action taken against Calloway, claiming that both parties were to blame in the incident.
“When you’re a police officer you don’t escalate, you de-escalate, and both of them had input in escalating the incident,” said Chief Collins.
When asked if there had ever been an incident such as this on Mercer’s campus before, Chief Collins said, “I’ve been here thirty years and that’s the first time it’s ever happened in this department.”