The attorney for a dentist recently arrested after an hours-long SWAT standoff in Brookhaven’s Lynwood Park neighborhood said the use of force was unnecessary. He also denounced what he called a “photo op” after Brookhaven Police allowed media to take pictures of guns removed from the suspect’s home.

George Frank Roach. (DeKalb Sheriff)

George Frank Roach’s girlfriend reported to Brookhaven Police on Feb. 9 that about three weeks prior, she was beaten by Roach in his Lynwood Park home. She also stated that Roach forced her to sit in his bathroom and he fired a rifle on the right side of her head and the left side of her head, according to the report. The report states there were pictures of bruising to the victim’s face and scarring on her head.

Roach was arrested Feb. 12 and is charged with false imprisonment, criminal damage to property, family violence and aggravated assault family violence. He is also charged with four charges of willful obstruction of law enforcement by use of threats or violence, possession of a firearm during commission or attempt to commit a felony and possession of cocaine.

Brookhaven Police said SWAT was used to make the arrest because Roach was known to have many firearms. The day after his arrest, police laid out 17 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, on the driveway as they searched for evidence.

Justin Spizman, Roach’s attorney, admonished police for displaying the guns for the media.

“It was gratuitous and self-serving to line up all the guns for a photo op,” he said in a written statement. “Dr. Roach has been an avid hunter and firearm collector since he was a little boy growing up in the country. It is not illegal to own firearms in the United States.”

Spizman also said the SWAT standoff could have been avoided because Roach was willing to turn himself in once warrants were issued.

“When I learned of the allegations against him, I reached out to detectives in the Brookhaven Police Department and offered to arrange to turn in Dr. Roach to the DeKalb County Jail once the warrants were issued,” Spizman said.

“The Brookhaven Police Department represented to us that they would advise us if and when warrants [were] issued. Unfortunately, that never happened. Rather, Brookhaven police showed at his residence with an armored truck with a 30-foot battering ram affixed to the end of it,” he added.

Brookhaven Police declined to comment on Spizman’s statements.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.