By Andrew Branca
June 2, 2016
Well, the feedback generated by my earlier post, “Meet ‘Caliber Training Group,’ Samuel R. Hayes III” has been overwhelming, to say the least. It seems my own limited experience with Mr. Hayes this last 24 hours has not been unique.
Perhaps the most interesting feedback has centered around Mr. Hayes’ own claim that “Again, I’ve had more than my fair share of rides in the back of police cars while handcuffed … ” I found this a rather odd claim by someone who professes to teach self-defense professionally, but I am generally too busy to give such nonsense much further thought.
Apparently others on the internet have the time to dig into these things, however, because additional information allegedly about Mr. Hayes’ purported past interactions with the criminal justice system started coming to my attention. This information pointed specifically to a felony criminal charge brought against a “Samuel Reginald Hayes III” in Cobb County GA in 2002.
Is the “Samuel Reginald Hayes III” charged with a criminal felony in the records below the same “Samuel R. Hayes III” who runs “Caliber Training Group” out of the Atlanta GA area? It’s impossible for me to know for certain. Of course, Mr. Hayes would know for certain, and if he’d care to deny that he is the same person in these online records I’m more than happy to post that denial prominently. Sadly, my previous communication to Mr. Hayes asking for clarification about his “more than my fair share” of handcuffed police car rides has gone unanswered.
The first source sent my way was from a very non-official site, Arrest.org. I can make no representations as to the accuracy of the information on this site. In any case, it indicates that a “Samuel Hayes Iii” was arrested on March 13, 2002 in Stone Mountain GA on three charges: One count of criminal trespass (§16-7-21) and two counts of criminal damage to property in the 2nd degree (§16-7-23). The criminal trespass charge is a mere misdemeanor. The two counts of 2nd degree property damage, however, are both punishable by one to five years, normally indicating a felony offense. (Caveat: I do not practice law in Georgia.)
This record also provides a physical description and a photo. This “Samuel Hayes Iii” is described as being 31 years of age at the time of his arrest in 2002–so this was clearly not a momentary teenage indiscretion, but rather the act of a grown man–making him currently 45 years old. The accompanying picture of “Samuel Hayes Iii” bears to my eye a marked resemblance to a more current photo of the much older, much heavier Samuel Hayes III associated with Caliber Training Group, but I leave to your discretion whether it appears to your own eye that the photo of “Hayes Iii” appears apparently be a much younger, much slimmer version of the older “Hayes III.” There is, of course, purportedly a 14-year time gap between the two photos.
Still, it seems unfair to place much weight on some site called Arrest.Org. Which raises the question of what more official sources of information on criminal proceedings in Georgia have to say about a “Samuel R. Hayes III”?
Interestingly, in the same year indicated in the Arrest.Org record of 2002 there exists a criminal proceeding for “State v. Hayes, Samuel Reginald III” in the Clerk Superior Court of Cobb County, GA., Case #: 02902465 – 34. This record lists only a single charge of CRIM DAM PROP 2ND, so just the single criminal felony charge rather than the multiple felony, and single misdemeanor, charge listed at Arrest.Org.
The arraignment is indicated as taking place on August 27, 2002, which would be consistent with an appearance ticket written the previous March, as indicated in the Arrest.Org record. Ultimately, this record suggests that the prosecution decided to refrain from proceeding with prosecution (nolle pros) of the felony charges in exchange for “Samuel R. Hayes III” agreeing to pay restitution for the alleged property damage.
There is also a separate record of apparent restitution payment in the same Case # 02902465, from “Hayes Samuel Reginald III” to one “Tina Proctor,” this record also sourced from the Clerk Superior Court of Cobb County, GA:
It seems clear, then, that some Samuel R. Hayes III was charged in 2002 in Cobb County, GA with the felony offense of second degree criminal property damage, and avoided prosecution on that felony charge by agreeing to pay restitution.
Whether that’s the same Samuel R. Hayes III who runs the Caliber Training Group out of Atlanta, GA seems possible, perhaps even likely, but again I wasn’t personally present for any of these proceedings, so there’s no way I could know for a certainty.
The specific names are pretty much identical, the regions match closely, the ages seem correct given the timeframes, and the Samuel R. Hayes III who runs Caliber Training Group has communicated to me personally that he’s had considerable experience (“more than my fair share”) of riding around handcuffed in the back of police cars.
I suppose the best person to provide a definite answer to the question of whether these are the same person would be the Samuel R. Hayes III who runs the Caliber Training Group, but he has declined to respond to my inquiry on the matter, as is his right.
Ah well. Some mysteries, I suppose, must be left unsolved.