Fugitive remains at large following police chase
by Wes Mayer
A woman who unsuccessfully attempted to flee Newnan Police officers was arrested early Thursday, although a suspected fugitive who was a passenger managed to escape on foot.
At 11:08 p.m. Wednesday, Newnan officers were advised by dispatchers to be on the lookout for a gray Toyota Corolla with a specific tag. A wanted escapee from the LaGrange Transitional Center, Patrick Jamal “Pancake” Jones, 20, was suspected to be an occupant in the vehicle. According to Officer Kyle LaChance, who wrote the report, Newnan dispatchers advised officers that Jones could be wearing a red female wig as a disguise.
Around 12:18 a.m., Investigator Jeremy Wood located the Corolla on Ray Street, LaChance reported. He then followed it to Temple Avenue where LaChance met them and pulled in front of Wood. LaChance identified two occupants in the vehicle, he reported, and the passenger was believed to be Jones.
At the intersection of Temple Avenue and Bonnell Street, LaChance activated his vehicle’s lights and siren to pull over the Corolla, but the vehicle took off and officers pursued. According to LaChance, the vehicle ran the red light and crossed the center yellow line on Temple Avenue before turning left onto Belt Road.
While pursuing the vehicle down Belt Road, LaChance reported, speeds increased to 71 mph in a 40 mph speed limit zone. On Belt Road, the vehicle almost lost control and ran off the road a number of times. The Corolla then made a left onto Westgate Park Lane at high speed, lost control, spun off the road, almost hit a mailbox, overcorrected and drove across the roadway. LaChance then performed a PIT — Pursuit Intervention Technique — maneuver and struck the Corolla in the rear bumper.
According to LaChance, the Corolla was finally stopped and trapped by officers in the front yard of 3 Westgate Park Lane, but the suspect, believed to be Jones, fled the vehicle on foot. LaChance pursued on foot, but eventually lost the suspect behind a residence on the 100-block of Belt Road. LaChance found a cell phone, $6 in cash and a pack of cigarettes behind the residence, though, and they were seized as evidence.
Assisting officers took the driver of the Corolla, Tiarra Sade Ferguson, 19, into custody, LaChance said. She was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude officers, disobeying traffic control devices, driving on the wrong side of the roadway, and reckless driving, and she was transported to the Coweta County Jail. Officers also found a red female wig inside the Corolla, and it was also seized as evidence.
Jones is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service for fleeing the LaGrange Transitional Center just under a month ago, said Sgt. Mark Cooper with the police department. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jones have been asked to contact the police department at 770-253-1502.