By Patrick Yost
Three men were arrested after a multi-county car chase ended near Rutledge last Wednesday.
According to Georgia State Patrol reports, the chase began at the parking lot of a Home Depot in Covington after the men attempted to leave the store with a cart load of items without paying.
Reports state that Georgia State Patrol troopers and officers with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a request for assistance from Covington Police Department officers regarding a white Toyota sedan fleeing Newton County at approximately 3:20 p.m.
The Toyota exited Interstate 20 on Highway 278, reports state, and traveled both at a high rate of speed and on the wrong side of the road toward Rutledge. On two occasions a Georgia State Patrol trooper attempted to line the Toyota up for a Pursuit Intervention Technique (P.I.T) maneuver but the Toyota evaded the attempt both times.
Eventually the vehicle came to a stop in the front yard of a Dixie Highway residence. The driver and a passenger both jumped out of the vehicle and fled into the back yard of the residence, jumping a brick wall. The alleged driver, Bryant Bailey, 36, no address given, was detained and arrested. The passenger, Jed Dasher, 39, Atlanta, was arrested later after a Walton County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit assisted Capt. Dietrich Roland in locating Dasher in a wooded area behind the residence.
A third man, Eric Willis, 50, Macon, had jumped back into the Toyota and fled east on Dixie Highway and was pursued by a second Georgia State Patrol trooper who located the vehicle and the suspect in another back yard on Dixie Highway.
The men all face various traffic citations along with obstruction charges.
A second chase on Saturday, Jan. 16 also led to the arrest of Msedangelo Jackson, 25, Rutledge. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Jackson was arrested at 8:28 p.m. and charged with fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, driving while license suspended or revoked, reckless driving and head light requirements. Reports state that Jackson was driving north on Eatonton Highway with a damaged headlight. When the trooper attempted to perform a traffic stop, Jackson allegedly fled through the Walmart parking lot and onto Lions Club Road where he struck the railroad crossing at a high rate of speed, lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Jackson was treated at the scene by National EMS workers and then transported to the Morgan County Detention Center.