Only on 12: Deputy run over by thief last December speaks out for first time

News 12 at 11 o' clock / Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A 27-year old will be spending the next six decades paying for his crime.

Hubbard Garret III pleaded guilty to several crimes Wednesday, including running over a Richmond County deputy and then driving off.

Our cameras were the only ones rolling in the courtroom as Garret faced a judge.

The Richmond County deputy he assaulted was also in court to face his assailant. In an interview you'll only see on News 12, he's talking about his terrifying ordeal for the very first time.

"No matter what the judge gave him, you still feel like they deserve more," said Lt. Robert West.

It's been eight months since Garret ran over him in the Surrey Center parking lot.

"Knowing that he knew me before he ran me over, that's the hard part. Especially when I've been helping him over the years. That's the thing that bothered me the most," West said.

West says he's known Garret since he was 17 years old. He's a frequent flyer at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center where West works.

"He knew who I was, and he still did it," West said.

As he stated in court, West helped Garret several times with inmate problems.

But none of that seemed to matter last Dec. 1.

"The main thing I remember is looking up when I was laying on the ground and watching the rear tire of the car running over my ankle. And the car just taking off. I'll never forget that," he said.

The incident left him with several fractures to his left ankle, a badly injured knee that still requires another surgery and a fractured skull that continues to give him memory problems.

"Trying to put it out of my mind and forget about it; every time I go near that spot where it happened, it still comes back to me," West said.

Garret had just broken into a pickup truck in the Surrey Center parking lot when West received the call and heard windows breaking nearby.

"I was working a special that night and heard the noise, really didn't want to go over there, but I knew I had to," he said.

He says it all happened very fast.

"I know people will probably say, 'Well, why didn't you shoot?' but it's such a small parking lot and reaction time -- all you're thinking about is getting out of the way. No one wants to get ran over and killed, "he said.

West says he is still just thankful to be alive. The incident happened about a month after deputy J.D. Paugh was gunned down and just about a month before two Aiken deputies were also shot and killed in the line of duty.


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