Police searching for hit and run suspect

Published 4:24 pm Friday, August 24, 2018

Wednesday afternoon Bainbridge Public Safety officer Tarow Barney responded to a hit and run accident at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Lamar Street, where one driver exited the vehicle and ran from the scene.

Emily Salter said she was heading west in her vehicle when a gray Nissan Maxima ran the stop sign and intersection and collided with her. Immediately following the accident, the driver of the Nissan jumped out of the vehicle, grabbed some items from the vehicle and started running south on Lamar Street.

The driver described the suspect as a black male subject, wearing a white shirt and black gym shorts.

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While Barney continued investigating the accident, other officers searched the vicinity for the subject. Officer Mike Prindle was not one of the officers handling this particular case, but said in instances like this drivers will flee if they have something on their person they don’t want to be seen or they may have a suspended license and not supposed to be operating a vehicle.

Prindle did say it is rare for suspects in vehicle accidents to flee on foot.

“This doesn’t happen often, we maybe have one to three percent of suspects take flight after an accident,” he said. “Especially if they are in narcotics and they think an arrest is imminent, they will flee and throw their objects down in the woods as they run away.”

During the investigation, Sergeant Pat Bryant informed Barney that the vehicle was registered to a home on Lamar Street. Bryant spoke with a female at that residence, who said Kentral Smith was the person driving the vehicle.

Prindle said in situations like these it can be difficult because although the car is registered to that address or person, it doesn’t always mean they were driving. People often report their car stolen the next day and say they had no clue it was involved in a hit and run, or that they let someone borrow their car and their friend or boyfriend must’ve had the accident.

The case is still active and pending further investigation as Bainbridge Public Safety tries to locate the person who was behind the wheel.