Lee County deputies arrest APD officer

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- An Albany Police Department officer went to jail with two friends on the first day of the new year in Lee County, a Lee County Jail report stated.

Grady J.W. Rachel Jr., 28, was arrested at about 12:05 a.m. Saturday for discharging a firearm in a subdivision and disorderly conduct, said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

"The deputies arrived and witnessed the shooting," Rachals said. "In this day and age, they took no chances. They ordered them to drop their weapons and get down on the ground. They got in the dirt, offered no resistance and were arrested."

Along with Rachel, deputies arrested Demetrius Hope Eady, 31, on the same charges and Taneisha Louise Zellous, 25, for disorderly conduct, stated a jail report. All three were released on $1,000 each bail by Saturday afternoon, the report added.

All three were arrested at 114 Elejay Court, Zellous' residence, said a jail spokeswoman. The house is in a subdivision near Lovers Lane Road.

"We had call after call in the neighborhood of shots fired coming in, Rachals said. "He (Rachel) was firing his MP5 semi-automatic rifle.

There were at least three dozen shots fired from the rifle. That rifle is part of his SWAT equipment."

Both men also fired Smith and Wesson 9mm pistols while they were at it, Rachals said. There was alcohol on the premises but they did not appear under the influence, he added.

Rachel, a Lee County resident, was immediately suspended with pay pending the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation, said Albany police Chief John Proctor.

Phyllis Banks, Albany police spokeswoman, had issued a plea last week to Albany residents to "celebrate the New Year's safely. Don't shoot guns to ring in the new year."

Banks added in a written statement that firing a gun in the air puts innocent people at risk because bullets come down to earth again.