Two men were arrested here Wednesday afternoon after a vehicle chase that started in Waycross and moved into Ware County jurisdiction, then back into the city limits, said spokesmen for the Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Waycross Police Department.
At the end of the pursuit, the men, Willie James Yawn, 23, of 712 Charlotte St., and Lashadre Dashun Smith, 24, of 1034 Alpha St., jumped out of the moving car to flee on foot, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal, and the car continued to roll slowly into a yard on Bertha Street where it struck a parked vehicle and a mobile home. Damage to the car and home was light, the sheriff said, adding that no one was injured.
Smith was almost immediately caught by police officers and deputies at the scene, Royal said. Yawn eluded the officers, running toward Johanna Street, so a perimeter was set up in the area. Several houses and outbuildings were searched, Royal said.
A resident at 203 Barbara St. gave law enforcement consent to search his home, and Yawn was found hiding in a bathroom. He was arrested at 2:15 p.m. without further incident by Waycross Police Lt. Scott Rowell and Ware County Detective James Cox.
The passenger, Yawn, was arrested and charged with robbery, aggravated assault-family violence, battery-family violence, possession of a firearm or knife during commission of a crime, burglary and armed robbery under the warrant, with criminal trespass and obstruction of an officer added after the chase, said Royal. Most of the charges were relative to an outstanding felony warrant.
Smith, 24, of 1034 Alpha St., was arrested and charged by the sheriff’s office with felony fleeing and attempting to elude and reckless driving, six stop sign violations and by the city police with reckless conduct, fleeing and attempting to elude, six stop sign violations, hit and run and obstruction of an officer, Royal said.
Rowell said two police detectives who were looking for Yawn spotted him just after 1 p.m., a passenger in a brown 1993 Chevrolet Caprice driven by Smith on Brunel Street near Jenkins Street. The Caprice sped away from the pursuit.
Impeded by traffic, the detectives lost the suspect car and last saw it in the Newtown community on Hamilton Avenue, Rowell said.
Ware County Deputy Brian Newman, while on patrol on the Valdosta Highway near North Street at 1:27 p.m. Wednesday, saw the car and picked up the chase going west on Highway 84.
The Caprice passed numerous vehicles at a high rate of speed in its attempt to get away from the deputy, Royal said. Smith turned left onto Oregon Avenue as Newman pursued with lights and siren engaged.
The fleeing vehicle failed to stop at six stop signs while the pursuit continued and made several dangerous turns at Virginia Avenue, New Mexico Avenue, New York Avenue, Wadley Road, Glenmore Avenue, Johanna Street, Sylvan Street, Byck Street until it came to Bertha Street, by then inside the city limits again, Royal said.
When Smith turned onto Bertha Street, it slowed down and the suspects bailed and ran.
Nobody was injured during the entire incident, Royal said.
“This was a fine effort of cooperation by both the deputies and police officers to protect and serve the citizens,” said Royal. Rowell agreed, calling it “a team effort.”