Forsyth County, GA – Police have released dashcam and bodycam videos of the pursuit of an armed fugitive in a stolen car (video below).
The incident occurred on the afternoon of May 1 when a Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy tried to initiate a traffic stop on a Mazda van for expired tags, the Forsyth County News reported.
Dashcam video showed the deputy followed the van into the parking lot of an auto parts store.
The driver, 31-year-old Jeremiah Reeves, got out of the van and was headed into the store when the deputy stopped him, the video showed.
Reeves told the deputy he had stopped on his way home from work to get anti-freeze for his car.
The deputy asked the driver for ID and that’s when the video showed the man began to act sketchy.
He kept putting his hands into his pockets, despite the deputy’s warning not to do so, the video showed.
Then Reeves started digging around inside the van.
“Do you have a driver’s license?” the deputy asked Reeves.
“A driver’s license?” Reeves asked, as if he had never heard of such a thing.
“Do you have one?” the deputy asked.
“Uh, um. The driver’s license is at home,” Reeves eventually answered.
The deputy told Reeves his tags were expired, and Reeves started backing his way around the van, over to the driver’s side.
The video showed he made a dash and jumped into the driver’s seat of the van to make his getaway with the deputy following behind him yelling “stop, stop!”
But the minute Reeves jumped behind the wheel, the passenger sitting behind him tore open the van’s sliding door and jumped out, carrying a bag, and dashed around the van to get out of the way, the video showed.
At the same time, the video showed the passengers in the front seat and behind were both scrambling to get out of the van, too.
With the deputy yelling at him to stop and all of his passengers standing beside the van with their hands up or clutching their belongings, Reeves slammed the van into drive and hit the gas.
He peeled out of the parking lot with the side doors open on both sides of the van, the video showed.
Another deputy on his way to back up the traffic stop encountered the Mazda van as it pulled onto the roadway with its side doors open.
The deputy pursued the van through a busy intersection and then into the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts, dashcam video showed.
The van cut over a median and into the parking lot of a Bojangles restaurant, and the deputy drove back around the Dunkin Donuts and fell in behind another police vehicle that had joined the pursuit.
They followed the van back onto a roadway and through another intersection, the video showed.
The pursuit continued at relatively high speed through a congested area with road construction but no other vehicles were struck.
Then the van took a right onto a gravel roadway and tried to cut across a grassy berm back to the highway.
The video showed the van dipped down into a drainage ditch and bounced.
As it came up the other side of the ditch, it did so without its back doors, which had been torn off in the impact. And it became stuck.
Deputies surrounded vehicle and pulled Reeves out of the car and placed him in handcuffs, the video showed.
It turned out that the van Reeves wrecked at the end of the pursuit was stolen, according to the Forsyth County News.
He was also wanted by Fulton County and the city of Fairburn.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Deputy Jenny Belafi said deputies found a firearm inside the van, the Forsyth County News reported.
Reeves was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, fleeing and attempting to elude, obstruction of law enforcement officers, driving without a valid license, and multiple other traffic infractions.
He was being held in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond, the Forsyth County News reported.
Deputy Belafi said the front seat passenger, 21-year-old McKalley Emanuel, was also arrested for an outstanding warrant.
Watch video of the traffic stop and pursuit below: