An attempt to capture a suspect on a battery charge led to a chase through Thomaston just after midnight on Feb. 11.
The battery charge was filed by a female victim on Feb. 8. According to a report by Upson County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Salter, the victim said she was at her mother’s house on Roberts Street, when her boyfriend, identified as Justin Todd Passmore, 25, of Thomaston, came to the house and started arguing with her. He allegedly hit her in the head and face before fleeing.
Three days later, Sergeant Neill Sanders was advised by dispatch shortly after midnight that the victim had called and said Passmore had called and wanted her to come pick him up. Sanders got in contact with the victim, and they worked out that officers would stop her while she was driving him to his sister’s house and arrest him on the battery charge.
Knowing the route she would be taking and that she would be driving a gold Lexus, Sanders, along with deputies Clayton Jones and Gerren Vining, and Thomaston Police officers Bruce Gilbert and Tommy Sanders, waited in positions along the route. The gold Lexus passed Sanders going northbound on South Center Street, and he recognized Passmore in the passenger’s seat. The Lexus turned onto East Lee Street and Sanders activated his blue lights to stop the car. The vehicle started to slow down, but in his headlights, Sanders reported seeing the passenger lean over toward the driver, and the Lexus accelerated.
Sanders and the other officers began to chase the vehicle. It turned onto Oglethorpe Way with the brake lights on as if someone was pushing on the brake pedal and the accelerator at the same time. The Lexus turned left onto Parkway Drive and suddenly stopped, then sped off again. It turned right onto East Gordon. Sanders was able to pass the vehicle on East Gordon and blocked the intersection at Glendale Road, forcing the car to stop.
The male passenger exited the vehicle and ran behind a nearby house, with Sanders and Gilbert giving chase on foot. Vining and Jones saw the suspect behind another house. Jones ordered him to stop, and when the suspect continued to run, Jones shot him with a Taser, hitting him in the back, and the man fell to the ground.
Passmore was taken into custody and charged with fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, and obstruction of an officer.
When questioned, the victim said that when Passmore saw the blue lights come on, he said she had set him up. When he saw her attempting to stop, she said he leaned over and pressed on the gas pedal with his hand, preventing them from stopping. The victim was not charged in the incident and released.