A high speed chase that began with a traffic stop, escalated to a Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy being dragged down down the road and ended with a pit maneuver in Athens, resulted in multiple felony charges against a 26-year-old Athens man.
Trooper First Class Cal Barton said the incident began Monday afternoon when two deputies with WCSO stopped Cornelius Brown for speeding on Highway 78 west approaching the intersection of Cherry Hill Road. During the traffic stop, Lt. Mark Hess reported the smell of marijuana and asked to search the vehicle. Brown allegedly resisted, got into a tussle with Hess and managed to get back into his car and flee the scene. Hess attempted to stop him driving off and Barton said he was dragged for a way down the road before being able to shake himself loose and rolling out of the roadway. He resumed the chase up Cherry Hill Road where Brown had exited his vehicle and discarded a book bag before getting back into his vehicle. Hess attempted unsuccessfully to block him with the vehicle in the driveway of the power plant off Cherry Hill Road, but Brown allegedly hit the vehicle with his before speeding off again in the direction of Athens, this time with several other deputies in hot pursuit.
Barton said he joined the pursuit at the end, “as the dust was settling,” after a second pit maneuver by WCSO deputy Sgt. Knight brought the chase to an end in Athens-Clark County. Barton said the first pit maneuver was not successful, but Knight was successful the second time around.
“In all there were five wrecks, including the two pit maneuvers and the first one when he hit Lt. Hess’s vehicle. Two of them were worked by Athens-Clarke County. I worked the other three,” Barton said, adding that one had resulted in minor injuries.
Barton said Hess did receive an injury to his foot as a result of being dragged by the fleeing vehicle at the start of the chase. Brown was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer, six counts of fleeing to elude, speeding, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of Oxycodone, and tampering with evidence. According to WCSO records, he bonded out the same day on $70,000 bond.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office reported the following Crime Awareness Community Alerts for Monday, March 12, 2018. Please note an arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction.
Arrest- Cornelius Brown was arrested in the area of Chase Street in Athens for two counts of Aggravated Assault on an Officer, six counts of Fleeing to Elude, Speeding, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Oxycodone, and Tampering with Evidence following a vehicle pursuit that originated in the area of Highway 78 and Cherry Hill Road.
Arrest- Kevin Evans was arrested in the area of Highway 81 and Cannon Farm Road for Driving Under the Influence following a traffic stop.
Arrest- Deundre Moses was arrested in the area of Highway 78 and Mount Vernon Road for Possession of Marijuana Less Than One Ounce following a traffic stop.
Arrest- One motorist was cited in the area of Centerhill Church Road and Blue Springs Drive for Possession of Marijuana Less Than One Ounce following a traffic stop.