A man wanted for kidnapping is behind bars after leading police on a high-speed chase through Dade County Thursday night.
Suspect Jimmy Dewayne Morton, 27, of Whitwell, Tenn., was wanted in Marion County for kidnapping a female witness in his pending felony case. Other charges against him include aggravated assault and theft of a motor vehicle.
The chase started around 10 p.m. Thursday when Morton’s cell phone was “pinged” by police detectors in the area of Interstate 24 near the Marion County line. Marion County deputies responded and began the pursuit. Morton was driving a stolen Volkswagen Beetle, say police.
Morton continued onto Interstate 59 South, where Georgia State Patrol Trooper Joe Geddie attempted to pull over the vehicle. The suspect failed to stop and continued to flee. Trenton police officers and Dade County deputies joined the chase. They reported that the suspect was driving recklessly and speeding.
Under pursuit, Morton called Dade County 911 on his cellphone and told dispatchers he was going to hit the back of an 18-wheeler. He said he was armed and would kill the officers and then himself.
In Rising Fawn just south of exit 4, Trooper Geddie ended the car chase by performing a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver. The suspect vehicle went into the grass median. A Trenton police officer then hit the suspect's vehicle with his cruiser to prevent him from going any further.
Neither Morton nor the policer suffered any injuries in the wreck though both of the law enforcement vehicles sustained some damage.
The suspect was removed from his vehicle and placed into custody. He will now face additional felony and traffic charges in Dade County in addition to multiple offenses in Tennessee. GSP charged him with felony eluding, reckless driving and theft by bringing stolen property into the state, among other charges, including one for not wearing a seatbelt.
Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross said in a press release that he was thankful all officers and agencies involved were safe and had worked together in a professional and effective operation to contain this threat to the Dade and Marion communities.