ATLANTA — An Atlanta Police officer is facing charges for allegedly pointing a gun and yelling racial slurs at a family during a suspected road rage incident.
The incident happened May 5 around 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Bill Kennedy Way SE and Memorial Drive SE in Atlanta.
Atlanta Police Department Officer Robert Malone was in uniform but off duty at the time.
According to a police report, a woman said a man driving a black Camaro pointed a handgun while in traffic. She told police that she was pulling out of the parking lot of the Reynolds Town Village when she turned and nearly collided with the Camaro.
The driver of the Camaro allegedly blew his horn out of frustration and yelled expletives at her and her family. She said the man called her the "N-word" and said, "He will blow her brains out," according to a police report.
The woman told 11Alive that the incident went on for several minutes as they were stuck in traffic. She said three of her children were in the car at the time. Then, she said she saw the man pointing a gun at them through the windshield.
"That put the biggest fear in them, like just seeing that gun being pointed at them. And then, my 11-year-old holding my 8-year-old daughter's head down to protect her, telling her the gun is pointing right here," she said. "I cried that night - that hurt."
During the incident, the woman got out of the car and went up to the man's Camaro and asked why he was pointing a gun at them. She told 11Alive that she didn't know the man was a police officer until she got out of the car and saw his badge.
"I was scared," she said. "At the same time, I wasn't surprised, you're doing all this and calling us racial names, and stuff like that, like so I was just upset. I just had all types of emotions running through my head."
A police report states the man involved in the incident was later identified as Malone. He denied the allegations, according to the report.
The woman said her fiance also got out of the car. The police report said he started yelling at the officer, and the officer drove off from the scene. Malone told APD later that he left "because he didn't want to infuse the situation."
The woman said they ended up flagging down another officer, who was nearby handling an unrelated crash report. The investigation indicates that Malone took off before the other officer walked up.
Malone now faces violation of oath, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree cruelty to children charges.
Police records show Malone has been with APD for more than a decade. 11Alive reached out to the department in regards to Malone's employment, and a spokesperson with the agency initially said he was on paid administrative leave. On Friday, APD said he had in fact resigned about two months after the incident, on July 12.
Malone's attorney told 11Alive's Joe Henke that they deny the allegations and have no further comment at this time. Malone is currently out on bond.