Ware County Deputy Jeff Nolan was injured Saturday while chasing a suspect who led lawmen on a brief vehicle chase, then got out of the SUV and fled on foot but was subsequently arrested, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Nolan suffered a freak hand injury during the foot chase, Royal said, adding that he was treated and will be all right. Nolan, aided by city and county officers, made the collar, said Royal.
Adam Michael Crute, 29, of Gainesville, Ga., was arrested and charged with felony obstruction, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug-related objects, wearing no seatbelt, improper tag, driving while license suspended and pedestrian on highway, said Royal.
At a convenience store at the intersection of Lee Avenue and the South Georgia Parkway, Nolan noticed a black 1998 Toyota 4-Runner bearing an improper tag.
Royal said the driver, Crute, parked in the store parking lot and stepped out of the vehicle, but upon noticing Nolan’s marked patrol car, he quickly got back in the vehicle and drove away, circling around Pendergast Street and back to Lee Avenue.
Royal said the man turned into the PrimeSouth Bank parking lot, stopped and jumped out of the vehicle, then ran across Memorial Drive in heavy traffic, Nolan chasing him.
The man ran through the parking lot at Wendy’s and into a heavily grown-up brushy area that led to a culvert filled with water. The deputy continued to chase the man through waist-deep water. At one point, a piece of wood impaled the deputy’s left hand. It was later surgically removed by an orthopedic surgeon at Memorial Satilla Health, the Waycross hospital.
Undeterred, Nolan caught Crute and arrested him, Royal said. He said that while the chase was ongoing, Waycross Police Department officers set up a perimeter and assisted with taking down the man. Deputies Michael Ray and Tony Youmans also helped.
“When Deputy Nolan finally caught up to the man, Crute passed out and was handcuffed,” said Royal. “He later told the deputies he had ingested four grams of methamphetamine. He was taken to the emergency room where he was held for observation before being taken to the Ware County jail and being booked on the charges.”
Royal said a search of the man’s vehicle turned up a set of scales used to weigh drugs and a quantity of methamphetamine.
“Deputy Nolan’s hand is going to be sore but I am thankful he will be OK,” said Royal. “I am also grateful for the assistance Deputy Nolan received from the city and county officers.”
Crute remained in the Ware County jail this morning.