School board member faces civil suit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School board member faces civil suit

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October 9, 2004

Tifton-- Derrick Pettiford is suing Tift County school board member Richard Golden for property damage compensation and emotional distress.

Golden is set to go to court this month on criminal charges after shooting up Pettiford's car after finding the man fishing on his land.

24-year-old Pettiford says every day he spends time with his 4-year old son is a day he thinks about the evening he says his life was threaten.

"Every time I want to do something I think about it. It's constant," say Pettiford.

In April, Pettiford was fishing at a Tift County pond that he thought was public property. As he was leaving, he says the landowner, Tift County School Board member Richard Golden, approached him waving a shotgun and threatening to kill him. When he turned to run away, he says Golden shot his car full of holes.

Richard Golden couldn't be reached for comment today. In an interview in April, Golden said he regretted the incident happen and admitted to damaging Pettiford's car but denied threatening the man's life.

In July, Golden was indicted on aggravated assault and felony criminal damage charges. Now, Pettiford has filed a lawsuit seeking compensation for property damage and emotional distress.

"It was like basically a joke what happen to my car. I lost my job behind it. To them it was joke, and I just wanted them to know I was serious about something being done about it," say Pettiford.

Now a judge will decide who was right and who was wrong in this case and if Derrick Pettiford deserves compensation.

Golden resigned as school board president after his arrest, but remains on the board. He's out of jail on bond awaiting criminal court later this month.

posted at 4:50PM by scott.hunter@walb.com