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Ex-county official charged with assault
Taylor confronted repo man with gun
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Forsyth County News
A former Forsyth County elected official has been charged with aggravated assault two months after he confronted a repossession man with a gun.

After a lengthy investigation, Eddie Taylor turned himself in to authorities March 19.

Taylor, a former school board member and county commissioner, spent about an hour in the Forsyth County Detention Center. He was released after posting $11,110 bond, according to jail records.

According to a Forsyth County Sheriff’s report, the confrontation happened Jan. 20 when a 37-year-old Flowery Branch man attempted to repossess a Hummer at Taylor’s home on Morningside Drive.

The report said Taylor came to the door brandishing a Beretta-style handgun.

“Mr. Taylor cocked and pointed the gun at [the repo man] as he exclaimed he had a right to shoot him because he was trespassing,” the report said.

Taylor said Thursday he had been under a lot of stress for several months leading up to the incident. He wasn’t generating any income, his house was under foreclosure and he had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Taylor said he was working with the bank to keep his Hummer. He thought the issue had been resolved, which is why he was surprised when the man came to repossess it.

His fiancée answered the door, said Taylor, adding that he got “real upset” after learning who it was.

“I went upstairs, yes I did. I got a gun,” he said. “I took the clip out of the weapon. It didn’t have the clip in it. I came downstairs. I never pointed it at the guy — never did anything to harm him. I told him to get off my property, that he was not going to get the car.

“He kept saying, ‘Don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me.’ And I said ‘I’m not going to hurt you, I just want you off my property.’ And he said something about having four kids. And I said, ‘I’m not going to hurt you sir, I just want you off my property.’”

The man left Taylor’s home without “any further contact during the assault,” the report said.

Citing the investigation, Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Franco declined to name the repo man or his employer.

But Franco, who worked on the case, did say the man’s allegations were consistent with a crime and the “investigation showed that a crime had occurred.”

“It’s an unfortunate situation and we hate when people get into these situations,” he said. “But we have to do what we have to do.

“There are victims out there and we have to work for our victims.”

Leading up to the incident, Taylor said he had spent several hours in the hospital for high blood pressure. He was treated with medication and his heart rate was down by the time he got to the house.

Taylor said his daughter, who took him home from the hospital, and his fiancée both witnessed the confrontation. He later sent an apology e-mail to the bank that held the loan on the Hummer.

“I sent her an e-mail of apology for the young man and I asked for her to give me his name so I could send him a letter of apology,” he said. “I thought that was over with, and then all of a sudden we got a call from the officer.”

Since aggravated assault is a felony, the case will be handled by Superior Court. A court date has not been set.

With his financial troubles, Taylor said he would be seeking indigent defense.

Looking back, he said he should never have gone upstairs for the gun.

“It’s my fault for getting upset, but I just couldn’t control my emotions,” he said. “I’ve been stressed for a long time.”