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Police brutality victim's charges mysteriously reappear


Tim Peck won't get a break after all.

The 49-year-old computer programmer whose 2001 confrontation with a Fulton County deputy cost him two broken legs has now been charged with three misdemeanors by the solicitor's office -- after similar charges were dropped by a judge, then redrawn by the district attorney's office, then dropped again.

Peck's run-in with then-Deputy Kelvin Smith at the Fox & Hounds restaurant was the subject of 2001 CL story that spawned subsequent stories of abuse of authority by Fulton deputies. Fulton Sheriff Jacquelyn Barrett has since fired Smith for baton- whipping Peck, and the Fulton DA is investigating several of the deputies whose abuses CL outlined.

It is unclear why the most recent set of charges against Peck -- public drunkenness, simple battery on a peace officer and obstruction -- were brought, or by whom. They came nearly a year after Magistrate Judge Craig Schwall dropped all charges against Peck, saying, "the law just cannot condone" how Smith beat Peck to the point of disfiguration.

After Schwall dropped the charges, Smith -- who was still a deputy -- pressed the DA's office to indict Peck in Superior Court. Peck was indicted, but once DA Paul Howard learned of the lower court's decision, he withdrew the charges. Smith was fired soon after, in February.

On Dec. 12, charges against Peck were filed in Fulton County State Court, according to the court's computer system. Fulton officials would not provide CL access to the court file, claiming the documents are not public record until after the trial.

Peck's attorney, Genevieve Frazier, says that when she called the solicitor's office, officials could offer no explanation for the origin of charges.

"The assistant solicitor I talked to didn't have a clue as to how those charges got drawn after they'd been dismissed by the judge and then ... the DA's office," says Frazier, who also represents Peck in a $1.5 million lawsuit he filed against Smith and the Fox & Hounds. "Now all of a sudden [the charges] have been resurrected."

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