A Cartersville police officer tried to initiate a traffic stop on a white Saturn Ion for allegedly ignoring a traffic light on Main Street at South Dixie Avenue. According to the incident report, the vehicle went across Main Street from Dixie Avenue where only a right turn is allowed.
The officer turned on his lights at Forrest Avenue, but rather than slowing down, the Saturn sped up before turning west on Cherry Street. The vehicle reportedly ran through the stop sign at Cherry Street and Maybelle Street and turned north.
Once on Maybelle, the driver, later identified as Jerry Wayne Hale, reportedly jumped out of the vehicle while it was still moving. He then fled on foot.
The officer pursued Hale on foot and saw the suspect on Stonewall Street, cutting through the housing authority parking lot. The officer then saw Hale go into a kudzu patch behind the Family Dollar store on Tennessee Street. Once backup arrived, the officers entered both sides of the kudzu patch to find Hale. Once Hale was located, he reportedly was brought out of the kudzu without incident.
One officer noted Hale had a cut above his right eye, which was bleeding profusely. Emergency Medical Services were called to the scene to evaluate Hale, who was also complaining of head and neck pain. While the group was waiting for EMS, Hale was patted down and searched.
A silver knife and a small Coca-Cola tin were allegedly found in Hale’s pockets. One officer, according to the report, detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the tin. Inside the tin a small joint and seeds suspected to be marijuana were reportedly found. A hollow, gray BIC pen was found on Hale as well, and it contained a white crystallized substance believed to be methamphetamine.
Meanwhile, another Cartersville officer was at the original scene where the Saturn came to a stop.
According to the incident report, a black case was found near the vehicle and it contained a scale along with a spoon, which also had a substance suspected to be meth.
A witness was in the vehicle. She said Hale had just picked her up at her residence, and when the officer got behind the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop, Hale “just freaked out,” according to the report. The witness said she screamed for him to stop, but he kept going until he jumped out. After Hale jumped, the witness said she put the vehicle in park and waited for the police.
It was later determined Hale was injured when he ran into an oak tree while fleeing police.
After being released by Cartersville Medical Center, Hale was arrested and charged with failure to obey traffic control device, obstruction of law enforcement officer, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, possession of drug related objects, failure to maintain lane, failure to stop for stop sign and driving while license suspended.
Charges for the suspected meth were pending until the results of a lab test.
Hale was transported to Bartow County Jail without incident.