911 Transcripts Reveal Dramatic Moments During Augusta’s Sole Restaurant Incident!

Following a recent officer-involved shooting on June 8 outside Sole restaurant in downtown Augusta, concerns over public safety have intensified among residents. The incident, which escalated into a multi-block shootout resulting in three individuals being shot at various downtown locations, has prompted a reexamination of the area’s security measures.

An investigative review of city 911 records conducted by the Augusta Chronicle provides a comprehensive overview of the frequency and nature of emergency calls made to Sole restaurant, situated at 1033 Broad St., over the past three years. Only approximately two dozen calls were documented during this period, shedding light on the relatively low incidence of emergency situations directly involving the establishment.

Of these recorded incidents, the majority were medical emergencies, comprising eight calls, followed closely by seven reports of disturbances or suspicious activities. Additionally, six instances involved theft or fraud, while the remainder pertained to issues such as traffic or fire alarms. Notably, there has been a gradual decline in the number of 911 calls to Sole each year, with 13 calls in 2022, 10 in 2023, and four as of mid-2024.

In response to ongoing safety concerns, local authorities, as detailed in correspondence from Mayor Garnett Johnson’s office, have outlined plans to bolster security measures in downtown Augusta. This initiative includes allocating resources to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office for enhanced law enforcement presence during late-night hours, specifically from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Despite these efforts, a closer examination of the timing of emergency calls to Sole reveals that only a fraction—specifically nine out of the 25 documented incidents—occurred during the designated patrol hours. These calls predominantly involved medical emergencies exacerbated by alcohol or drug-related incidents, highlighting a pattern of late-night activity that authorities are keen to address through increased vigilance and community engagement.

In contrast to Sole, nearby establishments such as Garden City Social, also located on Broad Street, have reported significantly higher incidences of emergency calls. According to previous reports, Garden City Social has been the subject of over 130 calls for service over the past four years, with incidents ranging from suspicious activities and disturbances to more serious offenses like drug-related incidents and sexual assaults.

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The discrepancy in emergency calls between Sole and Garden City Social underscores broader challenges faced by law enforcement in balancing public safety concerns with the vibrancy of downtown nightlife.

As discussions continue about how best to mitigate risks and enhance security measures, local officials remain committed to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for downtown Augusta residents and visitors alike.

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