NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. – A man and woman from South Carolina were arrested in Morgan County Monday evening after leading the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) on a three-county high-speed chase that started in Newton County.
According to a Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) incident report, just before 8 p.m. July 3, Trooper First Class Nathan Bradley observed a newer model Ford Mustang traveling at a high rate of speed in the right eastbound lane of Interstate 20 just east of Highway 11. According to the report, Bradley used his moving RADAR’s front antennae to clock the Mustang traveling 115 mph in a 70 mph zone.
According to the report, Bradley turned on his emergency equipment and began following the Mustang to make a traffic stop. It reportedly took him a couple of miles to begin approaching it. According to the report, as Bradley began to close the gap between the two vehicles, the Mustang moved from the left lane to the south shoulder to pass a tractor trailer, appearing to strike an object.
Bradley reportedly followed the Mustang several miles, reaching speeds in excess of 130 mph. As the vehicles approached the I-20 eastbound rest area, the Mustang made a quick maneuver into the right lane, cutting off another tractor trailer.
According to the report, as the Mustang passed the tractor trailer, Bradley lost sight of it. Believing that it had turned into the rest area, Bradley turned into the rest area, where bystanders stated a red car “came in and went that way,” indicating the exit of the rest area. According to the report, Bradley checked the rest area without locating the Mustang and went back to the same bystanders who told him the red car never actually turned in, but instead drove past.
A 911 caller contacted the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and reported that a red Mustang had passed them at a high rate of speed and exited I-20 off Newborn Road, Exit 106, and turned right. According the report, a portion of Newborn Road south of Interstate 20 is closed due to construction. A MCSO deputy responded to the area and initiated a traffic stop on the Mustang at the intersection of Newborn Road and Davis Academy Road.
Bradley relocated to the scene of the traffic stop and reportedly recognized the red Mustang as the vehicle he had been pursuing. According to the report, he also smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver, identified as Darrian Ford, 28, reportedly was “sweating and extremely nervous.” The passenger, Jerai Green, 26, was reportedly noticeably shaking.
According to the report, Bradley asked Ford where he and Green were coming from and he said Atlanta. When asked about the odor of marijuana in the vehicle, Green said they had other passengers and that they were “turning up.” According to the report, Green became confrontational and said she would be recording the encounter.
GSP Corporal Cory Seymour separated the vehicle’s occupants while Bradley reviewed dash cam video to confirm the Mustang being chased matched the Mustang that was stopped. Ford reportedly told Seymour that he and Green were in the vehicle that fled.
According to the report, after being told by Bradley that Ford had confessed to being in the pursuit and asked to provide details, Green reportedly said she did not know what Bradley was talking about and that they were never pursued.
Bradley reportedly went to speak with Ford and advised him of his Miranda Rights. According to the report, after being advised of his rights, Ford refused to speak to Bradley without an attorney present.
A search of the vehicle reportedly turned up a burnt marijuana cigarette on the passenger side floor board, three unopened Bud Platinum beers and a fully loaded .40cal firearm.
According to the report, Green was arrested for possession of marijuana and obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers. Ford was arrested for possession of marijuana, speeding, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, passing on the shoulder of a roadway, failure to maintain lane, following too closely, driving in the emergency lane, tire requirements and driving under the influence of drugs and read Georgia’s implied Consent Notice. Both were transported to the Newton County Jail.