By Ed Brock
A 17-year-old Atlanta man in a stolen car with three teen-age passengers led Clayton County police on a 20-mile chase into another county where it ended after a state trooper forced the car off the road.
The driver, Christopher Shropshire, was charged with theft of receiving, reckless driving, eluding police, aggressive driving, driving without a license, obstruction of a police officer and curfew violation in connection with the case, according to Clayton County Police Sgt. Brian Danekes.
The three passengers, 13, 14 and 15 years old, all of Atlanta, were charged with theft by receiving and obstruction of a police officer. Their names were not released because they are juveniles.
Around 2:46 a.m. Friday Danekes was in the middle of a traffic stop when he was informed by radio of a possible DUI traveling south on Tara Boulevard. Realizing that he had just seen a red Plymouth Neon that may have been the car involved in the DUI call, Danekes finished the stop he was on and went to find the vehicle.
Danekes caught up with the car as it was passing North Avenue, followed it onto Ga. Highway 138 and then tried to stop it as it was approaching Smith Street. The car slowed to a stop but when Danekes and another officer approached the car with guns drawn because they had learned the car was stolen, the driver sped away.
The driver of the Neon began driving at a high speed up Tara Boulevard to Old Dixie Highway, onto I-285 to Ga. Highway 42, from Highway 42 onto I-20 eastbound where a state trooper took the lead in the chase. The Neon turned onto southbound I-285 where the trooper tapped the back of the Neon and caused it to lose control and flip over several times. The car came to stop on an embankment on the right side of the road.
The occupants of the car, including Shropshire, tried to run, but were captured nearby. They did not receive serious injuries but Shropshire was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center for treatment of a bruised eye and cuts from a shattered window.