Rome officer arrested for hit-and-run involving 3-year-old child
ROME, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A Rome police officer has turned himself in to the Floyd County Jail on charges of hit and run that injured a 3-year-old child.
Authorities shared Rome Police Lt. Richard Penson's mugshot taken late Friday morning.
The 51-year-old police lieutenant is accused of running over a 3-year-old's foot outside The Kids Stop Daycare on Dean Avenue last week. At the time, officials told FOX 5 Penson was off-duty and in his personal vehicle picking up his girlfriend's son.
According to the Georgia State Patrol's investigation report, Penson, identified in the document as "Driver One," apparently did not see the mother a child standing outside their car, only seeing a car door open.
Thinking he could squeeze his pickup through their car and another vehicle, he drove into the space, the report alleges.
According to the report, in the process Penson allegedly ran over the child's foot with his left rear tire.
The report goes on to say the mother screamed, "You hit my child."
The mother told officials Penson rolled down the window of his vehicle, looked at her, and she screamed again that her child had been hit before running into the daycare.
Penson told officials he didn't think he hit the child and went on to the say he was not sure if the child had been run over or if the child was involved in a domestic incident. He then left the scene.
Before being fired over the incident, Penson had been a K9 officer for 25 years with the Rome Police Department. Officials told FOX 5 he started off as a patrol officer, became a K9 officer and within the last year was promoted to lieutenant.
Police charged Penson with reckless driving, hit-and-run, and second-degree cruelty to children.