Grantville officers involved in high-speed chase
by Wes Mayer
On May 1, Grantville Police Department officers had a similar car chase following roughly the same route as one this week – the earlier chase ending in the arrest of a convicted felon.
Around 1:40 a.m. May 1 Officer Tad Masuoka with the Grantville Police Department clocked a silver Cadillac traveling 86 mph in a 70 mph zone on I-85 southbound. Masuoka was able to pull over the vehicle, which had a temporary tag, but when Masuoka began to walk toward the driver, he rapidly accelerated away from the officer. Masuoka announced the driver was fleeing and began the pursuit.
According to Masuoka, he pursued the driver southbound on I-85 at speeds more than 120 mph while the driver began recklessly passing vehicles and showing no regard for other drivers’ safety. At the Hogansville exit, Exit 28, Masuoka attempted to prevent the driver from leaving the interstate, but the driver swerved into Masuoaka’s lane, almost causing a collision.
The driver exited the interstate and found a Hogansville officer blocking the intersection – the driver managed to drive around the officer and made a right on Highway 54 toward downtown Hogansville. Masuoka chased the driver at speeds more than 100 mph, and in downtown Hogansville, the chase only slowed to around 85 mph. The driver continued through downtown and ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 29, Masuoka said.
After crossing the railroad tracks, Masuoka advised he was going to try to ram the driver to end the chase – he did this twice, but the driver was able to maintain control of his vehicle both times.
At the intersection of Highway 54 and Wilkinson Road, the driver of the Cadillac lost control and turned sideways in the middle of the road, Masuoka said. In an effort to avoid a major collision, Masuoka braked hard and maneuvered around the vehicle running off the road in the westbound shoulder – the driver also ran off the road and Masuoka ended up striking the Cadillac on the driver’s rear side with his front passenger’s side push bar, ending the chase.
At this time Grantville Officer Timothy Nixon arrived, and the driver attempted to flee on foot up the embankment. Nixon gave commands for the driver to stop, but he refused – Nixon fired the barbs of his electric stun gun at the driver, but missed. The driver then decided to surrender, but he would not show his hands or walk back to the officers. Officers were able to get close to grab him by the clothes, pull him to the ground and place him in handcuffs, Masuoka said.
A female passenger was also in the vehicle, and she was placed in handcuffs and put in the back of Masuoka’s patrol car, he said. Officers searched the car and the driver and found a large amount of suspected marijuana in his shorts pocket. Officers also found a small, red plastic bag containing suspected cocaine in the vehicle, and a responding Troup County deputy arrived and saw a Glock 9mm handgun lying under Nixon’s vehicle. This handgun was ran in the system and had no record, Masuoka said.
The driver was identified as Bryan Shawn Wright, 33, Masuoka said. Wright’s name was run in the Georgia Crime Information Center and officers found he not only didn’t have a license, but he had several felony warrants from Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus Police Department – violation of probation, a weapons charge, theft by receiving, false report of a crime and giving false information.
Both agencies requested holds be placed on Wright. He was also identified in GCIC as expected to be armed and dangerous and an escape risk. Wright told officers he knew nothing about the handgun or the suspected cocaine in the vehicle, but he did admit to being a convicted felon.
Wright was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude officer, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, interference with government property, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, speeding, driving without a license and driving without a state tag. Wright was transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital because he complained that his left leg was injured – he was treated for a fractured tibia and cleared for the jail. At the Coweta County Jail, deputies found Wright was in possession of a large amount of US currency, which was seized as evidence.
Officers identified the passenger as Janequa Santrina Williams, 17, and when officers ran her name in GCIC, no warrants, no license and no state identification were shown. Williams was transported to a nearby gas station where she contacted a ride.