Georgia sergeant demoted after leaving 13-year-old in freezing police car


A police officer in Roswell, Georgia, who was seen on body camera video leaving a 13-year-old boy in a cold patrol car and taunting him in January has been demoted after an internal investigation, police confirmed.

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Daniel Elzey, who was a sergeant, was demoted to a police officer II and will be suspended for 30 days without pay, Roswell police Chief Rusty Grant told AJC.com.

Elzey had been placed on paid administrative leave in July, more than six months after the incident.

Just after midnight Jan. 2, the teenager was stopped by a police officer, identified as C. Dickerson, who saw the boy in a golf cart on Alpharetta Highway, AJC.com previously reported. Police said the teen, whose sleeves were soaked and frozen, was detained and uncooperative with Dickerson, which is why Elzey came to assist in questioning.

“He won’t say anything if he’s sitting there in the back seat and it’s warm,” Elzey is heard saying in footage of the roughly 90-minute ordeal. “So, he can sit over there and be cold.”

The video showed Elzey turn off Dickerson’s car and lower the windows, allowing the 20- to 30-degree air to enter the vehicle.

“That’s why I rolled your windows down,” Elzey could be heard saying to Dickerson. “It’s fine. Give him a few minutes to think about it. Let him get a little chilly. Maybe that’ll help.”

Police eventually got in touch with the boy’s mother and released him to her. In a police report, authorities described the boy as a troublesome teen who constantly frustrates his mother and two older brothers and has been “suspended several times.” 

The report did not mention the officers intentionally leaving the boy in the car. 

The department’s Office of Professional Standards investigated Elzey’s conduct. AJC.com has filed a records request for the final investigation report but has not received it yet.


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