Two Dade County Sheriff's deputies are on administrative leave after a car chase late Thursday night ended in gunfire. But Sheriff Ray Cross says there were no injuries in the incident and that the administrative leave is routine procedure when officers discharge their guns.
Just after midnight, according to the Sheriff's Department press release, a Dade deputy on patrol noticed a pickup truck with too dark a window tint and checked out the vehicle's registration while still in transit. The tag came back from the national database as stolen, and the deputy called for backup.
He waited until another officer joined him until attempting to stop the truck. The two lawmen initiated a traffic stop on Slygo Road but the vehicle sped away and both deputies gave chase.
The pursuit ended on Haswell Lane, a dead-end road in north Dade. The deputies attempted to conduct a "felony takedown," said the press release, but the driver of the truck placed his vehicle in reverse and struck one of the patrol cars and one of the deputies, knocking him to the ground. The driver shifted into drive, pulled up, then put the vehicle back in reverse and attempted to strike the deputies and their vehicles again.
Subsequently, both deputies fired multiple times at the driver and at the vehicle's tires. The two officers were then able to successfully retrieve both the driver of the apparently stolen truck and a passenger who was riding with him from the vehicle and place them in custody. Both the two arrestees and the two police officers were uninjured. All the bullets ricocheted off the side of the vehicle, reported Lt. Hailey Smith-Geddie at the Dade Sheriff's Department, questioned later.
The department has identified the officers as Sgt. Casey York and Deputy Kelvin Haswell--coincidentally, the latter has the same name as the road where the incident happened. The officers have been placed on paid administrative leave per policy and procedures pending the closing of the investigation.
Also as per procedure, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will continue an independent investigation of this incident and forward its review to the office of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney.
Sheriff Ray Cross, who called a press conference about the incident Friday morning, said: "I am thankful for the outcome in this incident. My deputies were uninjured and we have a threat to our community detained in our jail."
The Dade Sheriff's Department identified the driver of the truck as Brandon Kyle Bettis (left), 26, of McDonald, Tenn. He is in custody pending charges; preliminary reports, says the department, suggest Aggravated Assault on Peace Officers, weapons charges and stolen property charges. The passenger, Shana Lynn Sims (below), 18, of Hixson, TN is also in custody with pending charges.
The Sheriff's Department will announce formal charges against the two when they are filed.