Safety officer refuses to lose job over spat with custodian

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

August 11, 2006

What started out as a verbal spat quickly escalated Thursday morning, leaving one man behind bars and the other fearing for his job.

And it all happened behind school walls.

Two men, each pointing a gun at the other.

One was a public safety officer who says he did nothing wrong.

Only on 12, his stepdad speaks out in his defense.

The school year at Murphey Middle has started out with a bang.

Custodian Frank Franklin was arrested Thursday for threatening a public safety officer with a BB gun.

That officer, Rolph Cramer, was notified today he too could be punished.

Stepdad James Hobbs says something's not right--that Cramer was told this morning he could be suspended for horseplay.

"The officer that made the arrest is basically having disciplinary action taken against him for making the arrest," Hobbs says.

Cramer admits that when Franklin made fun of his bald head, he responded with, "It looks like you swallowed a Volkswagen."

It's then that the custodian allegedly aimed a weapon at Cramer thought was a 9 millimeter handgun.

Cramer, a Richmond County sheriff's deputy for nine years, reacted immediately by pulling out his gun.

"And no one asked his side of the story, what happened or anything," says Hobbs. "It was all based on statements made by the defendant."

The Richmond County school administration would not comment on the investigation, nor would they give the status of either man's job.

Cramer, a father and Medal of Honor recipient, refuses to lose his job over this.

His stepdad gives this advice: "Fight it like hell. And that, I expect him to do."

Cramer does plan on going into work Monday morning, but he's not sure what will happen after that.

If he is suspended or put on strict probation, his stepdad says he will be contacting attorneys.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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