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Taser used to subdue man in police chase

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

What started as a routine traffic stop on Labor Day, turned into a foot chase which left one College Park man tasered and in jail.

On Sept. 1, around 7:30 p.m., Clayton County Police Officer Tony Griffin attempted to stop Brentt Edward Walker, 27, near the corner of Norman Drive and Highway 314 after noticing Walker's vehicle tag was improperly displayed.

Rather than obey the officer's command to pull over, Walker sped off in his 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage -- with a passenger in tow -- weaving into opposite traffic.

Weaver took Griffin on a chase across Highway 314, cutting through a Chevron gas station. He headed westbound on East Pleasant Hill Drive, and ended up at the Poplar Pointe Apartments. Walker stopped the car in front of building 1000 and ran, according to the police report.

While running, Walker attempted to backhand the officer, at which time Griffin fired a Taser cartridge, which sent Walker to the ground, screaming in pain. At six feet tall and 230 pounds, however, Walker fought with Griffin even after being tasered, according to Tim Owens, Clayton County Police public information officer.

"Apparently, he was still fighting and [the officer] did what is called the 'stun drive,'" said Owens. "Basically, once you fire the Taser, unless you take the time to load another cartridge, you have no more prongs, so you have to use it like a hand held Taser."

Even after two separate Taser shocks, Walker continued to evade police, running through an apartment breezeway and eventually becoming cornered on top of a parked car. After several minutes of verbal confrontation with police, the exhausted Walker was taken into custody.

During the chase, Walker's passenger, Tyree Nicholas Cooper, fled the vehicle, but was later arrested at 1004 Poplar Pointe Drive for obstructing an officer. Upon searching the vehicle and Walker's person, Griffin discovered 0.7 grams of suspected crack cocaine, a small amount of suspected marijuana, and brass knuckles.

Walker was charged with driving with a suspended license, obstructing an officer, fleeing and eluding, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, reckless driving, and carrying a concealed weapon.

Owens said Walker had purchased the suspected cocaine just prior to the chase for his personal use. However, Walker, a second-time drug offender, could be charged with a felony, Owens said.