A man fleeing from the law Saturday night led officers on a chase that reached speeds as high as 124 mph, rammed into a patrol car, drove wildly through yards in a neighborhood near Georgia Highway 67 and struggled with deputies after he tried fleeing on foot, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
The man, authorities said, was subdued by Taser, and deputies found a large amount of drugs in his car.
Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release issued Monday that deputies responded to the Highway 67 area around 11 p.m. Saturday after calls about the driver of a Chevrolet Cruze refusing to stop for Bryan County sheriff's deputies.
As the car entered Bulloch County on Interstate 16, deputies tried again to stop the driver, later identified as Ernest Graham, 33, of 59th Street in Savannah, but he continued fleeing westbound on the interstate, Anderson said.
A Georgia State Patrol trooper tried to intercept Graham near the Highway 67 exit, but Graham still refused to stop, and the chase continued northbound toward Statesboro on Highway 67, the sheriff said.
Bulloch County sheriff's deputies "were determined to prevent the fleeing vehicle from entering Statesboro, since the potential for a high-speed crash in a heavily built-up area was very high," Anderson said. "Deputies set up spike strips on Highway 67 near the Kiwanis Fairgrounds. The fleeing driver observed the trap, turned around in the middle of Highway 67, and intentionally backed into a patrol car."
Graham then fled into The Hammocks subdivision, "where he recklessly drove behind homes and through yards before attempting to regain the highway. A trooper and deputy were able to strike the violator's vehicle with their own and push it into the ditch," Anderson said.
Graham then fled on foot and, when confronted by troopers and deputies, "physically struck and fought them until subdued by use of a Taser," the sheriff said.
A passenger in the car, Shavika Williams, 31, also of 59th Street in Savannah, was taken into custody without incident. A search revealed a quantity of cocaine and marijuana in the car, Anderson said.
Graham is charged with cocaine possession, marijuana possession, four counts of felony obstruction of law enforcement, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, felony fleeing and attempting to elude, speeding (124 mph in a 55-mph zone), and DUI.
He was also charged with driving with a suspended license, open container and criminal trespass.
Williams is charged with cocaine and marijuana possession.
Both were taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where they are being held until court hearings, according to jail records.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.