By Patrick Yost
A Buckhead man has been arrested and charged with two counts of cruelty to children, reckless conduct and discharging a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs after he allegedly fired eight pistol shots while in his house while his two children hid in a bedroom upstairs.
A warrant signed by Morgan County Magistrate Judge Connie Holt alleges that Christopher J. Rouland, 44, while his 11 and 8–year-old daughters were visiting his Shadow Lake Drive residence, the “two minor daughters called 911, very scared and while hiding in their bedroom, that their father, the accused was very drunk and was shooting a gun in the house. When officers arrived they found the accused passed out in the floor with a gun by his head an five rounds (shell casings) by the front door…”
The incident occurred on Saturday, August 27 at approximately 12:27 a.m., Morgan County Sheriff’s Office incident reports state.
When deputies arrived at the Shadow Lake Drive residence, reports state, they observed Rouland lying on the floor at the bottom of the stairs with a chrome handgun laying beside his head. The deputies were able to walk into the unsecured residence and secure the weapon. One deputy secured the handgun while the second deputy attempted to communicate with Rouland. Reports state that Rouland’s “speech was very slurred… he had bloodshot eyes and could barely sit up. There were several places where Mr. Rouland had drooled onto the floor in the area where he was lying.”
The deputies asked Rouland the location of his children and he told them several times that they were with his girlfriend somewhere in the house. A deputy located both girls in an upstairs bedroom, confirmed that they were healthy and continued to search the house.
No other persons were located in the residence but officers did find a loaded Browning .45 caliber pistol on a nightstand in a downstairs bedroom and a Baretta 9mm handgun sitting on a bar in the residence. All three weapons were secured.
The children were transported to the Morgan County Public Safety Center while they awaited the arrival of their mother, who was driving to the safety center from Atlanta. The exchange was made, reports state, at approximately 3 a.m.
Records indicate that shell casings were located inside the house, some approximately six feet from the front door but no bullet holes were found.
According to emails between Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Judge Holt, on Monday, August 29 Bish expressed that charges should be filed in the incident and that Rouland was not arrested after the children and weapons were secured , in part because he “was inebriated to the extent that he would have been refused by detention center personnel…”
“But I believe he should be held accountable for his actions then and potentially for future conduct of a similar nature in the presence of the children.”
Judge Holt signed the warrants on August 30 and Rouland was arrested. He was released the following day after posting a $15,000 cash bond.