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PIT maneuver stops high-speed chase
Stolen BMW hits 150 mph; Augusta man arrested
Lydell Juarqez Nero

Georgia State Patrol troopers arrested an Augusta man Saturday in Evans County after a high-speed chase that started in Bulloch County and reached 150 mph.

Lydell Juarqez Nero, of McNutt Road in Augusta, is being held in the Evans County Jail on several traffic charges and has a $45,560 property bond, according to the Evans County Sheriff's Office.

The chase began near Statesboro when Bulloch County sheriff's Cpl. Greg Collins spotted a 2002 BMW 745L traveling southbound at 80 mph in a 55 mph speed zone around 10:40 p.m. Saturday night on Highway 301 South.

Nero, 19, slowed the BMW when Collins turned on his patrol car's siren and blue lights but then fled at speeds of over 70 mph, according to Bulloch County sheriff's incident reports.

A check on the car's tag revealed that it had been stolen from Richmond County, said Bulloch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins.

The BMW continued into Evans County, where Georgia State Patrol Post 45 Troopers Robbie Scott and Jonathan Malone joined the chase. Collins turned the chase over to them and followed as a backup, and all officers attempted to box Nero in, but he evaded their efforts, reports stated.

The BMW reached speeds of up to 120 mph as the chase reached Claxton, where Nero almost struck a patrol car and ran two red lights while driving 100 mph. His speed rose to 150 mph as the pursuit left Claxton, still on Highway 301 South, according to reports.

Nero almost struck another vehicle at that rate of speed before Scott performed the Precision Immobilization Technique, or PIT maneuver, in which the trooper used his own car to bump the fleeing BMW, forcing it to turn sideways abruptly. Nero's car left the roadway, overturning several times before striking the wood line, Akins said.

Nero fled on foot, leaving a passenger behind in the car. However, Scott and an unidentified Hagan police officer apprehended Nero and took him into custody.

Leaking gasoline from the vehicle started a small fire, reports stated. The passenger, whose name was not listed in reports, suffered a leg injury and was treated by EMS at the scene after officers dragged him from the vehicle and away from the fire. Nero also was treated by EMS, then taken to Evans Memorial Hospital and later transported to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.

Nero faces charges of theft by receiving stolen property, fleeing/attempt to elude, reckless driving, obstruction, driving without a license and seatbelt violation.

An Evans County Jail spokesperson said that if Nero posts bond, he will then face a charge in Bulloch County for theft by receiving stolen property. He also may face further charges relating to the stolen vehicle in Richmond County, Akins said.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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