UPDATE: Road Rage Starts in Johns Creek, Ends in Wills Park
The following arrest information was supplied by the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety and the Johns Creek Police Department. It does not indicate a conviction.
A road rage incident involving an off-duty Fulton Schools police officer started in Johns Creek and ended with a morning chase through Wills Park in Alpharetta, according to police reports from both the Johns Creek and Alpharetta police departments.
The off duty officer called Johns Creek police shortly before 8 a.m. on May 29 to report that a black Nissan with no rear bumper cover attempted to ram his vehicle while at the BP gas station at the intersection of State Bridge and Jones Bridge roads in Johns Creek. He said that the passenger shouted to him to "Get the f*** out of our way," and repeated that as the two men got out of the Altima and walked toward his car as if to fight.
The officer told both suspects to stay where they were. He said the passenger returned to the vehicle and retrieved a weapon, at which time the officer reached for his off duty weapon and retreated by reversing out of the BP parking lot.
The officer said that the passenger held his weapon at his side, then the two suspects got back in the car and drove past him as if they were going to try to ram him before fleeing west on State Bridge Road/Old Milton Parkway.
An Alpharetta detective caught up with the suspects at the intersection of Old Milton Parkway and GA 9/South Main Street. Despite being in a left turn lane to go south on GA 9, the suspects switched lanes and continued west on Old Milton. The Altima was following a garbage truck close enough that the Alpharetta detective feared there would be a collision. When he turned on his blue lights, the Altima skidded to a stop.
The driver, a 22-year-old from Silver Creek, was questioned by another officer and was charged with DUI, improper lane change and following too closely.
The passenger, however, fled the scene as Johns Creek police officers who had responded to the call tried to arrest him.
The suspect crossed over Old Milton Parkway and into Wills Park with a Johns Creek officer and an Alpharetta officer in pursuit. The other Johns Creek police officer drove to the park where the two officers were chasing the suspect on foot. The officers in pursuit called out that they were running through the ball field behind the Mansell House, at which time a civilian walking in the park pointed to the woods along the edge of the parking lot, where the JC police officer saw the other two officers standing.
Additional Alpharetta officers responded and a perimeter was set up around the wooded area. The Johns Creek police officer used the PA system in his vehicle to announce three times, "Johns Creek Police K-9 Unit. You are under arrest. Surrender yourself or a trained police dog will be sent to find you. This dog will bite you."
After the third announcement, the dog was deployed, but due to civilians being in the park, the officer did not allow him to search the area off lead, and attempted to track him instead from the suspect's point of entry.
While preparing the dog for a second search off leash and with the area cleared of civilians, the other Johns Creek officer and another officer located the suspect lying in dense brush under some trees. The suspect continued to resist while the officers attempted to arrest him. An officer had to use his taser on the subject, who was then taken into custody.
During the chase, Alpharetta police found a Colt .22 Police Positive revolver under the passenger seat close to the door, making it easily accessible for the passenger but not for the driver.
The passenger, a 22-year-old Rome resident, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, obstruction and simple assault, since the off duty officer said that the suspect had not pointed his weapon at him.
Busted Taillight Leads to Drug Charges
An Alpharetta police officer stopped a driver on Windward Parkway for a broken taillight, but the charges soon escalated to a felony drug charge.
On May 30 at 10:12 p.m., the officer was driving westbound on Windward Parkway. As he approached the Jordan Court intersection, he saw a red sedan with the problem taillight make a U-turn. He followed and stopped the suspect.
When he contacted the driver, the officer said in his incident report that he could smell unburnt marijuana. He spotted a glass jar at the driver's feet, and when the suspect opened the jar, the smell of marijuana poured out. Three more jars, a glass smoking pipe, scale and two boxes of rolling papers were found in the backseat.
Paul D. Rhyne, 23, of Kennesaw, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, distribution or possession of dangerous drug and taillight violation. He was released from Fulton County Jail on June 3 on $7,600 bond.
Mableton Man Speeds Past Officer at 108MPH
A 34-year-old Mableton man made the mistake of speeding past an Alpharetta officer driving south on GA 400 near Windward Parkway on May 27 at 8 p.m. in moderate to heavy traffic at dusk.
The suspect's black Lexus GS350 was driving 108 mph in the 65 mph zone, according to a reading from the officer's radar unit. A second vehicle passed by traveling faster than 100 mph, but the officer couldn't safely stop both cars.
Once the suspect was stopped, he was arrested and cited for reckless driving and speeding. When a syringe was found in the car, possession of drug-related objects was added to the charges.
For questions about this blotter, email Bob Pepalis.