WAYNESBORO, Ga (WJBF) – The District Attorney’s Office has announced that it will not file charges against a local man for reportedly placing a child in his car following an incident at a convenience store in January 2022.

The incident happened the night of January 22 when the child’s father, Sam Hendrix, was arrested for disorderly conduct after a dispute with the store clerk at the El Cheapo on South Liberty Street. Investigators say Hendrix’s 7-year-old daughter was left inside his vehicle while he went inside.

Investigators say that, during the arrest, 34-year-old Jacques Gardner reportedly approached the child and offered to take her home. Before he could leave the parking lot, Gardner was stopped by officers and informed that the child’s mother was on the way to get her. The report states he followed the officers’ commands, and there was no evidence of coercion or force.

Investigators say Gardner has no criminal history and has a documented intellectual disability.

The District Attorney’s Office concludes that there was no evidence of criminal intent on the part of Gardner.

After an Internal Affairs investigation into what happened during the arrest, Officer Ronald Bartlett was suspended for 8 days without pay. He was also placed on a 6-month probation and demoted from a promotion that took effect just days after the January 22 incident.