Chases end in arrests, multiple charges
by Wes Mayer
Two men were arrested in two separate cases Sunday and Monday after attempting to elude officers on the road, authorities said.
Sunday’s pursuit began around 10 a.m., when Officer Scott Kilgore with the Newnan Police Department was dispatched to the area of Cliff Circle to check on a suspect with a warrant out for his arrest. According to Kilgore’s police report, the suspect, Kenneth Damon Dandridge, 43, was driving a blue Toyota Corolla.
According to his report, Kilgore identified Dandridge in the Corolla and began following him down Martin Luther King Drive and Spence Avenue — when Kilgore saw one of the Corolla’s brake lights was out, Kilgore activated his blue lights. Dandridge, however, made a left onto Greenville Street, so Kilgore flipped on his siren and the chase began.
Dandridge continued southbound out of the city limits driving recklessly in the rain at speeds of around 60 mph, according to Kilgore, and Officer Anthony Grant joined the pursuit. At one point, Kilgore reported Dandridge began driving on the wrong side of the road and later ran another motorist off the road near the Pilot Travel Center on U.S. Highway 29 South. The motorist appeared to be uninjured, Kilgore reported.
Soon after, Deputy Shane Warren with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit and was able to move in front of Dandridge to slow him down, according to the report. As Warren did this, Kilgore reported Dandridge sped up and rammed into Warren’s vehicle.
Warren’s maneuver ended the chase, though, and Dandridge was removed from his vehicle by officers. According to Kilgore’s report, Dandridge began struggling with officers, so Kilgore used his electric stun gun to strike Dandridge in his buttocks and right leg — then Dandridge surrendered.
Dandridge was charged for aggravated assault against an officer with a motor vehicle, both misdemeanor and felony charges for fleeing and attempting to elude, obstruction of officers, reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions, driving on the wrong side of the road and no brake lights. Dandridge also had a warrant out for his arrest in the city of Newnan, Kilgore reported, and he was transported to the Coweta County jail.
— Monday’s pursuit began around 4:24 p.m. on West Highway 34 when Sgt. Jeff Bugg noticed a driver heading westbound weaving between lanes and alternating his speed, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. The driver also appeared to be texting on his cell phone and threw some garbage out his window at one point, Yarbrough said.
Believing the driver was intoxicated, Bugg pulled behind him and turned on his lights and siren, but the driver kept going, Yarbrough said. The driver, Khristopher James Paschal, 40, continued to flee Bugg at speeds around 65 mph, and Bugg pursued him to the Powers Crossroads intersection. There, Bugg performed a PIT — Precision Immobilization Technique — maneuver on Paschal’s vehicle, ended the chase and took Paschal into custody, Yarbrough said.
Paschal was charged for fleeing and attempting to elude an officer, failure to maintain lane, littering and texting while driving, and he was transported to the Coweta County jail. According to Yarbrough, if Paschal had any drugs in his possession, he may have eaten them during the pursuit — authorities did discover plastic baggies and scales in his vehicle.