HomeNewsCrime & CourtsWaynesboro councilman discusses arrest at Grovetown Cracker Barrel

Waynesboro councilman discusses arrest at Grovetown Cracker Barrel



A Waynesboro councilman said he has no intention of resigning his seat despite his arrest Sunday for allegedly shooting a gun outside the Grovetown Cracker Barrel.

Dr. Maurice McBride, 47, was charged Sunday with aggravated assault and reckless conduct following a heated argument with a young woman about his cell phone, according to Columbia County authorities. The arrest was first reported by WGAC’s Austin Rhodes.

 “The gun just went off, but it wasn’t at her,” Dr. McBride told The Augusta Press on Tuesday night. “We were in the middle of a tussle for my phone. But it clearly wasn’t pointed at her chest.”

The victim, 22-year-old Tyasia Jones of Augusta, is a former student in Dr. McBride’s class at Paine College. She told authorities that the suspect followed her to the restaurant around 11 a.m. Sunday where her girlfriend works. Witnesses say he demanded his phone from Jones and got upset when she threw it into the road. He then pulled a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield Gun.

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“(He) fired a round into the ground and then pointed the firearm at her chest while threatening to kill her,” a report says. “He then proceeded to choke her with his hands.”

Dr. McBride says the sheriff’s report is wrong, since he was at the restaurant to have pancakes and talk to Jones’ girlfriend who works there. He thinks the girlfriend called Jones, who showed up after he arrived and grabbed his phone.

 “The accusation that she was choked and a gun was pointed at her chest is extremely incorrect,” he said, adding that his attorney is working to get restaurant video.

When questioned by officers, Dr. McBride claimed that Jones began hitting him in the face repeatedly. He confessed to firing his gun, the report says.

The report does not describe his relationship with the victim other than an “acquaintance.” But Dr. McBride says Jones is hardly an acquaintance, just someone who he knows. On Wednesday morning, he confirmed that she was a student in his class, saying he often tries to help his students. He declined to say what he wanted to talk to Jones’ girlfriend about, but he said Jones did not want that information divulged to her girlfriend.

“And to be honest, I am not trying to throw Ms. Jones under the bus. She seems like a nice young lady,” he said. “I have nothing bad to say about her.”

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Dr. McBride is well-known in Burke County as a coucilman as well as children’s author, rap artist and a business professor for Paine College, according to a biography on his website.

He said the Waynesboro mayor and council are aware of his arrest.

“They are waiting. They are in support,” he said. “They know my character and they know this is a one-off. So this is OK. … I am 100 percent sure this will go away. Once the video footage reveals the truth, I am good.”

The councilman said he carries a gun because he never knows when he might need to protect himself. He says he has a concealed weapons permit.

Dr. McBride said he is worried that news of his arrest will tarnish the good that he is trying to do in the community.  His Facebook page makes no mention of his arrest, but he posted a live video last month while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. He said he wanted to “inspire people to live their best life” and noted the alarming rate of young people dying “for unknown reasons.”

“Let that be a message to you,” he says. “There is a way to live the life that you need to live.”

Greg Rickabaugh is the Jail Report contributor for The Augusta Press. Reach him at greg.rickabaugh@theaugustapress.com 

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  1. Sounds just like something a Councilman, (AKA politician), children’s author, rap artist and business professor would say. These two just happen to show up at the same restaurant at the same time. Just a little misunderstanding is all it was. Of course it was, just settle it with a gun. “there is no there, there’. Right out of the playbook of another politician who who knows how to double speak.

  2. This however begs the question — Why did Ms. Jones grab Dr. McBride’s cell phone to begin with ? And, to toss the cell phone to the ground. In this day and time, MOST cell phones are not inexpensive devices. That being said, a gun should not have entered into the equation. There must be more to this story.

  3. Anyone who points a firearm at an unarmed person over a cell phone should not have a CWP, practice constitutional carry, or own a firearm.. He’s lucky an off-duty officer or another CWP holder did not shoot him in defense of the woman he pulled the pistol on. O.C.G.A. 16-11-106 (2010), 16-11-106. Possession of firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain crimes O.C.G.A. 16-5-21 (2010) 16-5-21. Aggravated assault “I am 100 percent sure this will go away. Once the video footage reveals the truth, I am good.” Yeah, right.

  4. Um, there are so many holes in this story it looks like a screen door… Why did Ms. Jones have the councilman’s phone in the first place? Why did he follow her to the restaurant? He showed up for pancakes but also wanted to talk to Ms. Jones’s girlfriend and the girlfriend apparently didn’t want to talk to him because she called Ms. Jones. Why wasn’t Ms. Jones charged with theft if she took his phone without consent? Swiss cheese story. I’m willing to bet it will come out later that Ms. Jones, the girlfriend, and the councilman were having a lovers quarrel. Maybe a tricky triangle? Is the councilman Married?

  5. Any Rap artist worth his weight in gold teeth needs to have a mug shot so this may help him gain notoriety. Besides, ain’t nuttin wong wit a young girl gettin sumtin sumtin extra credit from the teach. Is there?

  6. Just another politician with a PhD, “helping” his young female student. Let’s see what develops here. Probably wise for other young female students refrain from seeking “extra credits” for a better grade. Hope our police confiscated the phone!

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