A Ridgeland High School teacher and coach was arrested after reportedly striking a Whitfield County police officer during a concert in Dalton July 22.
Steven Carpenter, Ridgeland’s boys basketball coach since May 2000, was charged with assault and obstruction of a police officer after he reportedly resisted arrest by striking Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department officer Mark Tate. He was released on bond that night.
According to Whitfield Sheriff’s Department officials, Carpenter was attending an Everclear concert at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton, at which he became extremely intoxicated.
A concessions worker notified Tate about Carpenter’s condition. The officer approached Carpenter and spoke to him.
Carpenter told Tate he was not driving and was with friends. The officer then left, but returned after the coach fell off his chair.
While Tate was trying to help him, Carpenter swung at the officer. Officials said Tate avoided a first strike, but couldn’t dodge another.
Tate wrestled him to the ground, and Carpenter sustained injuries in the scuffle. Carpenter was taken to Hamilton Medical Center for treatment.
Tests revealed Carpenter’s blood-alcohol level to be 0.366, more than four times Georgia’s legal limit of 0.08.
As of Monday, August 6, according to officials, an investigation is still being conducted by the Walker County school board and the Whitfield Sheriff’s Department.
According to Walker County Superintendent Truman Atkins, actions will be taken according to the decisions made by the court and recommendations by the school system’s lawyers. If convicted, Carpenter could face suspension or termination as outlined in Board of Education policy.
Carpenter was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon, August 6