By Patrick Yost
A Forsyth man allegedly in a stolen car led police on a short but bizarre and dangerous car chase into downtown Madison before attempting to run away on foot in the historic district.
According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Jarrett Paul Gunn, 21, was arrested at gunpoint by a Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputy around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 after he had driven a 2012 Toyota Camry from the Walmart parking lot before he jumped from the car at the Madison Methodist Church parking lot on Main Street.
Reports state that Gunn allegedly failed to yield in front of a Morgan County deputy on Lions Club Road. The deputy attempted to execute a traffic stop but, reports state, the Camry instead pulled into the Walmart parking lot and drove through parking stalls “with little concern for public safety” and drove towards the exit by the automotive area. The vehicle then drove on the sidewalk on Eatonton Road before pulling northbound on Eatonton Road and driving in the center turn lane towards Madison at speeds over 110 mph.
During the chase the Camry forced a Madison Police Officer patrol car off the road near the South Main Street and Eatonton Road intersection. On Main Street, reports state, the chase reached speeds of 80 mph.
After the Camry pulled into the Methodist Church parking lot, Gunn jumped from the car without putting the vehicle in park and fled across Old Post Road. A deputy gave chase on foot. Gunn jumped over a yard fence and the deputy attempted to use his Taser weapon but missed.
The deputy caught Gunn on Kolb Street after he stopped running and drew his service revolver and demanded Gunn get on the ground. Gunn complied.
During a search of Gunn, the deputy allegedly found a plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine in a green bandana in his back pocket.
When the deputy returned to his patrol car at the church parking lot, he observed that the Camry had backed into the front of his patrol car, causing no damage to the patrol car. A woman and her 12-year-old brother were allowed to remove grocery items from the vehicle in which they had been passengers and were released from the scene.
Reports state that the vehicle had been reported stolen from Jasper County. Gunn currently faces charges on possession of methamphetamine, obstruction, two counts of reckless conduct and one count of theft by receiving stolen property. He also faces traffic citations of failure to yield right of way, speeding, improper use of central turn lane, driving while unlicensed, failure to provide proof of insurance, passing in a no passing zone, mirror violation, cracked windshield, felony fleeing from police, failure to stop or return to an accident scene and reckless driving.