At least one suspect is in custody and deputies are still searching for the other armed robbery suspects that allegedly hit the Taco Bell on Ga. Highway 278 Saturday night and led officers in chase through Newton and Rockdale counties.
According to Rockdale County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sgt. Jodi Shupe, three men robbed the Taco Bell around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Calls came into 911 from witnesses who noticed the occupants of the popular fast-food restaurant holding their hands up when they went past, according to Covington Police Lt. Wendell Wagstaff. Those same witnesses reportedly followed a red car with three men inside of it onto Interstate 20, instructing dispatch on the direction of travel by the suspects.
Officers that initially responded to the incident went past the vehicle at first, said Wagstaff, but were eventually able to stop the car by using a rolling roadblock. When one of the officers exited his patrol car, the driver of the suspect vehicle reportedly attempted to run the officer over with his car, causing the officer to fire at the vehicle. The driver did not stop, however, but instead continued west onto the interstate and into Rockdale County, according to Wagstaff.
Rockdale County deputies and Conyers police took up the pursuit, assisted by Covington police and Newton County deputies - who had also been chasing the vehicle in Newton County.
The suspects then got off the interstate on the Ga. Highway 138 exit. The suspect's vehicle had lost a tire at some point and crashed into an RCSO patrol car at the intersection of Hi Roc Road and Ga. Highway 138, according to Rockdale County Chief Deputy Rob Cordero. No one was seriously injured in the crash, chase and search.
"The suspects jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the wooded area," said Shupe. On their way out, one man allegedly pointed a weapon at Rockdale and Newton County deputies, and the deputies fired at the suspect. The three men fled into a densely wooded area where authorities lost sight of them.
"We set up a perimeter," said Shupe. "From that point until the morning hours, we kept that perimeter in check, until apparently they flushed one of them out."
One man, identified as Michael Curtis Jackson, was apprehended walking along the road as day broke on Sunday morning, and the money stolen from Taco Bell was reportedly found in the woods.
Jackson will be charged in Rockdale with fleeing and attempting to elude, said Shupe.
The charges from Newton County and Covington were not available.