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Augusta mayor’s assistant accused of trying to choke girl in a wheelchair



AUGUSTA, Ga. – New details have emerged on the arrest of the personal assistant of the Augusta mayor, including that the relative she’s accused of trying to choke is a teenager who uses a wheelchair.

Maria Cook is accused of committing felony aggravated assault at about 6:15 p.m. Sunday, according to the arrest warrant.

News 12 obtained a copy of the incident report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, which sheds light on the case.

The incident report states that upon arrival, a deputy made contact with the victim, who reported the incident, at Woodside Avenue and Scott Street.

The victim stated that the incident began after she found Cook going through her purse and demanded that Cook give it back, according to the deputy’s report. The victim said a verbal altercation ensued, and that while in the process of attempting to get her belongings from Cook, the incident became physical, according to the deputy’s report.

The victim stated that Cook tried to choke her by wrapping her hands around her neck and then pushed her, causing her wheelchair to tip over to the ground backward, according to the deputy’s report. The victim stated that once she was on the ground, Cook began pushing her head into the ground multiple times, according to the deputy.

“I observed swelling to the right forehead” of the victim, the deputy wrote.

“I also noted that Ms. Cook had scratches around her neck. Ms. Cook stated that she and did become involved in a verbal altercation and that it did become physical,” the deputy wrote.

Cook stated that the victim began striking her in the upper chest with a closed fist and pulling down on her dress, the deputy wrote. Cook stated that while pushing the victim away in defense, the victim fell and struck her head on the ground, according to the deputy.

“I observed no injuries to Ms. Cook,” the deputy wrote.

The victim was taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment, according to sheriff’s agency records.

Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. issued a statement about the incident on Tuesday, saying:

“I am aware of the domestic incident involving Ms. Cook, it is unfortunate. My thoughts, prayers, and support are with her and her entire family as they work through this situation privately. Ms. Cook has been suspended pending case disposition and investigation. There will be no further comments from me on this private family matter.”