High speed chase into Florida

Published 7:13 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

A man who led Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through southern Decatur County Friday morning was later captured in Florida, Sheriff Wiley Griffin said.

At around 9 p.m. Thursday night, deputies responded to a suicide threat by Raymond Douglas French, 58, at his home at 3591 Lake Douglas Road. French refused to leave the home and deputies remained outside the residence throughout the night, said Sheriff Griffin. Shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, French fled from the home in his pickup truck.

Capt. Jason Williams and Sgt. Justin Bedwell with the Sheriff’s Office were in close pursuit of French as he headed west onto Cedar Grove Road before turning onto Woodhull Road. The officers followed as the truck crossed over U.S. 27 South, continuing west on Woodhull Road before crossing over Highway 309 onto Green Shade Road. The truck turned south onto Highway 97 South before turning off onto Highway 302 heading into Florida.

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The officers stopped the chase when the truck crossed over the Georgia-Florida line traveling into Gadsden County, Fla. During the chase, French drove at speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour and twice attempted to hit Williams’ and Bedwell’s cruisers with his vehicle.

“Each time we attempted to pass him he would try to run us off the road,” said Williams.

Warrants were taken on French for two counts of aggravated assault and felony fleeing and attempting to elude due to his reckless driving, according to Williams.

Capt. Chip Nix worked with Florida police, who were able to locate French near Marianna, Fla. He was arrested by Jackson County, Fla., Sheriff deputies and awaits extradition to Decatur County.

Woman remains in serious condition after dog attack

A woman viciously attacked by a pack of dogs on Tuesday, Jan. 6, was in serious condition at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital on Friday.

Joanne Johns, 73, was attacked while walking on Johnny Skipper Road by five dogs.

Hayes Bell, a local farmer, was driving by in a semi-truck when the attack occurred and called police.

Johns was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and had lost a large amount of blood during the attack. She was in and out of consciousness when she arrived at the hospital, according to family members. She had numerous lacerations on her body and underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries on her back, face, head, legs and arms. She is expected to remain at the hospital for the next two weeks.

Family members expressed their thanks to the man who stopped to help and all those who have called to express their concerns and encouragement.

At the request of the Health Department, the animals believed to have been involved in the attack were gathered by county officers and euthanized. Chief Deputy Jim Morris said the animals tested negative for rabies. The rest of the dogs in the area were taken to the Bainbridge Animal Shelter.

Morris said none of the residents in the area claimed ownership for the more than 20 dogs found in the vicinity of the attack.

Pit bull nuisance

A family having a cook out in their backyard was forced to use pepper spray to ward off two pit bulls on Jan. 3.

The woman told police she was having a family cookout at her home on East Gate Circle in Bainbridge when the two dogs came through a hole in their privacy fence from a neighbor’s yard. The woman told police the dogs began chasing the small children at the home around the yard and one of the dogs refused to let her enter the home. She sprayed the pit bulls with pepper spray to make them leave.

The man in possession of the dogs was written two citations for failure to keep animals under control.

In an unrelated incident, a 5-year-old girl in Thomasville was mauled and killed by three family-owned pit bulls on Jan. 5, as reported by WCTV News.

Investigators told WCTV that police had been called to the home several times responding to complaints by neighbors about the dogs.

Search warrant executed

Bainbridge Public Safety investigators arrested two Bainbridge citizens on drug charges early Thursday morning after executing a search warrant at 108 S. Sims St., Apt. 1-E.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, Investigators James Dollar, Mark Esquivel, Alton Brock, Chris Jordan and Sgt. Ryan Wimberley conducted a search warrant at the residence finding a misdemeanor amount of marijuana and an small amount of cocaine in home.

Derronis Reco Feaster, 27, of 284 Woodhull Road in Bainbridge and Tineka Lakita Jones, 26, or 108 S. Sims St., Apt 1-E, in Bainbridge were arrested and both charged with possession of marijuana (less than an ounce) and possession of cocaine.

Arrested for littering

A Bainbridge man was arrested for littering on Jan. 6.

Jason Lamar James, 17, of 314 Independent St. in Bainbridge, was seen throwing paper on the ground by Bainbridge Public Safety Chief Larry Funderburke, according to incident reports. The chief told James to pick the paper up because he was littering and he complied. As Funderburke was driving away he witnessed James throwing the paper back on the ground.

James was arrested and charged with littering.

Arrests & Citations

The following arrests and citations, occurring between Jan. 6 to 9, have been reported by Bainbridge Public Safety and the Decatur County Jail:

• Sharon Denise Anderson, 22, 1105 Lake Drive, Apt. 1205, Bainbridge, shoplifting, BPS;

• Cassandra Renee Cooper, 22, 108 S. Sims St., Apt. 6-C, Bainbridge, shoplifting, BPS;

• Kaleena Shantel Goss, 25, 108 S. Sims St., Apt. 6-B, theft by shoplifting, BPS;

• Thomas Clinton Shearer, 31, Sylvester, Ga., probation violation—original charge theft by receiving , SO;

• Gregory Eugene Smiley, 44, 630 Fleming St., Bainbridge, parole violation—original charge possession of cocaine, SO;

• Mary Harrell Dean, 58, 228 Deese Road, Bainbridge, DUI, failure to maintain lane, GSP;

• Herman Williams, 51 812 Sharpe St., Bainbridge, sale of controlled substance (crack cocaine), SO;

• Alfredia Davis, 23, Colquitt, Ga., shoplifting, BPS;

• Derrick Edward Crews, 23, 817 Colquitt Hwy., Bainbridge, DUI, open container, BPS;

• Reginal Alonzo Green, 37, 1105 Lake Drive, Bainbridge, contempt of court—original charge child support, SO;

• Ashley Leah Miller, 23, 1210 Yates Spring Road, Brinson, deposit account fraud, SO;

• Doris Perkins, 39, 230 Slough Loop Road, Bainbridge, simple assault, SO;

• Sherman Terail Raymond, 39, 178 Slough Loop Road, Bainbridge, criminal damage to property (first degree), SO;

• Joseph Deandra Smiley, 26, 7778 Tallahassee Hwy., Attapulgus, probation violation—original charge sale of marijuana, probation violation—original charge sale of marijuana, SO;