Man arrested on drug charges after pursuit

Published 1:38pm Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bainbridge Public Safety arrested a 47-year-old local man after officers found suspected marijuana and cocaine in a van he tried to flee a road check in, according to an incident report.
James Nathaniel Wright, 47, 1323 Reynolds St., Bainbridge, was arrested Sunday after he refused to stop for officers who were attempting to pull over his Pontiac Montana van.

The incident began at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, while BPS officers were conducting a road safety checkpoint at the intersection of Dothan Road and Griffin Street.

Captain Robert Humphrey observed a silver van, driven by a man later identified as Wright, turn around in the parking lot of Betty’s Cafeteria after spotting officers on Griffin Street. Capt. Humphrey turned on his patrol car’s lights and sirens, but the van sped up and continued to head east on Dothan Road into downtown Bainbridge.

Atop the Calhoun Street bridge, Wright illegally passed another vehicle by driving into oncoming traffic and then ran a red light at the intersection of Broad and Calhoun streets. Wright proceeded to Scott Street, turning right and then ran a red light at the busy intersection of Scott and Shotwell streets.

The pursuit continued onto the one-way portion of S. Scott Street, then onto King Street and then south onto Monroe Street. Wright ran into a curb and was attempting to climb out the front passenger-side door while the van was still moving, before he fell out and was drug a short distance.

However, the suspect re-gained his footing—Humphrey exited his patrol car and chased Wright on foot, yelling for the man to stop. Humphrey attempted to use his Taser electric shock weapon on Wright, who was attempting to reach into the front of his athletic shorts for something.

After Humphrey finally caught up with the suspect and handcuffed him, it was discovered that Wright had been attempting to remove a large plastic bag containing a number of smaller bags filled with suspected marijuana. Wright also had a bag of suspected powder cocaine in his clothing. Two more plastic bags with suspected marijuana, as well as $100 in cash, were found in the van Wright had bailed out of.

Wright was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, fleeing or evading police or roadblock, improper passing, two counts of failure to obey a traffic control device and misdemeanor obstruction of an officer.

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