A short car chase into downtown Statesboro on Tuesday ended with the arrest of a man driving a stolen vehicle with an assortment of illegal drugs inside.
The chase began when Bulloch County sheriff’s Cpl. Jeff White and Deputy Greg Rickerson were on routine patrol around 1:20 p.m. when they “checked a Dodge Charger’s tag for compliance with registration and insurance coverage,” said Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown.
When the tag came back as belonging to another vehicle and not having valid insurance, Rickerson switched on his blue lights and tried to stop the car for those violations, but the driver kept going, he said.
The driver fled from Buckhead Road, down Northside Drive to Savannah Avenue.
“While traveling west on Savannah Avenue, other units converged on the area to assist with the apprehension” of the driver, later identified as Avery Robert Harris, 21, of Windcrest Drive in Covington, he said.
Harris continued to flee, “swerving around parked cars at the red lights,” said local resident Jenny Foss, who witnessed the chase. “It was scary.”
Harris “lost control of the Dodge Charger and wrecked at the intersection of Savannah Avenue and East Main Street,” Brown said.
Foss said the car had “two flat tires, riding on rims, going in excess of 65 mph … zig-zagging to miss cars.”
Harris struck an ornamental median buffer and knocked down a sign during the pursuit, she said.
When Harris crashed, he tried to get out of the car, but Bulloch County sheriff’s Sgt. Rey Rodriguez “attempted to contain Harris in the car by pinning the doors with the front of his patrol car,” Brown said.
Harris escaped the car and fled on foot, but the chase was short-lived as several deputies followed and apprehended him.
Further investigation revealed Harris is wanted for probation violations in Rockdale County and has outstanding warrants for theft by taking in Rockdale County as well as Conyers, he said.
Harris was transported to the Bulloch County Jail where he “will face a laundry list of criminal charges” and is being held without bond, Brown said.
The charges against Harris by the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office include fleeing/attempt to elude, reckless driving, altered tag, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession/use of drug-related objects, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, theft by receiving stolen property (the Dodge Charger), illegal possession of schedule IV narcotics and illegal possession of schedule V narcotics.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912)489-9414.