Loganville/Social Circle men arrested by Covington PD after fight video goes viral


Covington incident sees arrest of men from Social Circle and Loganville

Three teens were jailed after being charged with simple battery and a fourth man charged with a series of crimes after an incident caught on a now-viral video showing the three allegedly savagely beating the man at a park and ride lot in Covington Friday as a group of people watched.

(Photo credit: Copy of viral photo from Facebook post of Covington, Ga Police Department)

The victim in the case is facing the most charges after he allegedly instigated the fracas by making threats toward other individuals at the park and ride lot before the beatings began.

The video has sparked widespread attention after Covington police were criticized
for focusing on Thompson and ignoring others who may have committed crimes.

Covington Police Department charged Jason Redding, 18, of Loganville; James Edge, 19, of Covington; and John Rodriguez, 18, of Social Circle with simple battery in relation to the case in which they each allegedly beat Joseph Thompson.

Thompson, 21, of Jefferson, Iowa, meanwhile, was booked into the Newton County Detention Center on charges of Terroristic Threats & Acts, and Disorderly Conduct.

A CPD news release stated, “On April 21, 2023, an incident occurred at the Park and Ride on Hwy. 278 and Turner Lake Road that has since been circulated on social media.

“At the time of this occurrence, the Covington Police Department had not been contacted or made aware of this incident; there was no 911 call for service in reference to the fight that occurred at the Park and Ride.

“Later in the evening, Thompson flagged down a Covington Police officer on the Covington Square and made a complaint in reference to a person with a gun with no mention of the fight. When the video was posted and began circulating on Sunday (April 23) many concerned citizens reached out to our department and brought the video to our attention, which generated an investigation.”

It stated Covington Police officers came in contact with Thompson on Sunday. An incident report stated Thompson attempted to flee from officers following a traffic stop and was charged in relation to a separate incident. Charges included theft by receiving, Fleeing, altering a license plate, disobeying a traffic light and other moving violations.

“Thompson had no visible signs of physical injury from the incident Friday evening,” the news release stated. It stated that detectives on Monday, April 24, then began investigating those involved in the incident at the Park and Ride.

“Prior to the video, it was determined Joseph Thompson had been making threats towards other individuals at the Park and Ride and had instigated the altercation,” the release stated.

The investigation on Tuesday led to simple battery charges against Redding, Edge and Rodriguez and the terroristic threats and disorderly conduct charges against Thompson.

The video also appeared to show Redding allegedly carrying a handgun tucked into the waste band of his jeans as the beating occurred.

However, the release stated, “in reference to the possession of a firearm on the scene, the subject in possession is 18 years old and the gun was not used in a criminal manner during the incident, which is not a violation of state law.”

The release stated that Covington Police Department did not mean to appear it was focusing solely on Thompson’s alleged crimes while ignoring the alleged crimes committed against Thompson.

“Citizens expressed their shock and concern with the video. In our haste to respond to the numerous calls, posts and emails regarding the video, we acknowledge that our initial response came across as impassive and indifferent to all the crimes that occurred during this incident.

“Our intent was not to place the blame solely on Joseph Thompson without addressing the criminal acts that occurred against him. The Covington Police Department will not tolerate the type of criminal conduct or behavior seen in the video.”

Some commenting on social media stated Thompson was “autistic” and suffered the beatings after being taunted by the teens. Redding and Rodriguez were still being held Wednesday on the charges while Edge had been released from the Newton County Detention Center, according to jail records.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply