DOUGLAS — A wanted fugitive who led Coffee County deputies, Douglas police officers and Georgia State troopers on a high speed chase over the weekend is behind bars at the Coffee County jail facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, said Coffee Sheriff Doyle Wooten.
John Thomas Highsmith, 31, Douglas, is charged with numerous violations including speeding in excess of 100 mph, Wooten said.
Prior to the chase, Coffee County deputies conducted a traffic stop on Highsmith Saturday afternoon just after 3 o’clock on the Willacoochee Highway after he failed to yield at a stop sign, barely avoiding a multi-vehicle collision, Wooten said.
While checking the driver’s identity, deputies learned Highsmith was wanted on two outstanding probation warrants related to previous drug and other convictions. It was not immediately clear which jusrisdiction was holding the warrants.
Wooten said when deputies asked Highsmith to step out of his vehicle, he instead took off and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
Highsmith led deputies on a chase through numerous county roads and state highways, topping speeds of over 100 mph before entering the city of Douglas, Wooten said. There he continued eluding city, county and state law enforcement officers across both residential and commercial areas of the community.
“Highsmith eventually abandoned his vehicle, fled on foot and was eventually detained by Douglas police,” said Wooten.
Highsmith has been charged officially with two counts of violating probation, possession of a controlled substance, fleeing/attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and multiple traffic violations, Wooten said.