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Man facing multiple charges after 'low speed' chase

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

A Stockbridge man is being held in the Henry County Jail on $25,000 bond, after trying to escape from police during a pursuit, and nearly striking participants in a charity road race, said Henry police.

David Wayne Moore, 36, is charged with aggravated assault, obstruction of an officer, DUI, fleeing/attempting to elude an officer, an open-container violation, concealing the identity of a vehicle, failure to maintain a lane, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, driving without valid insurance and improper transfer of a tag.

The Lake Spivey Road Race was underway, and the route runners took was not far from where the driver was arrested. Police said Moore was driving near where participants were running in the street.

Henry County Police encountered the suspect shortly before 9 a.m., Saturday, near the intersection of Flippen Road and Fairhaven Road in Stockbridge.

According to a police report, Officer Kody Waggoner saw a 1989 Mazda B2200 pickup truck, driven by Moore, "weaving heavily outside of its lane," and attempted to pull the vehicle over. "Upon activating my blue lights, it appeared as if I got no response from the driver," wrote Waggoner in his report. "I then activated my emergency siren to signal the driver to stop. It was at this time, I noticed the driver look up into his rearview mirror, ignore my emergency equipment and continue to travel westbound on Walt Stephens Road, approaching Durham Way."

The report indicates that Officer Waggoner notified authorities he was in a low-speed pursuit of Moore's truck. Shortly after a back-up officer arrived in the area, Waggoner continued, several people were put in harm's way by the suspect. "I observed several subjects that were in the area of the roadway, due to a charity road race/run," wrote the officer in the report. "At this time, [Moore's] vehicle veered off the north side of the road and nearly hit several pedestrians in the area."

Waggoner reported that he also learned, during this time, via dispatch personnel, that the tag number belonged to a Jeep Cherokee and not the truck being driven by Moore. "Fearing that the vehicle was stolen, I continued pursuit [of the truck]," Waggoner's report states. As the pursuit extended beyond Henry County lines, Clayton County Police joined in efforts to apprehend the suspect. According to Waggoner's report, Moore turned at Walker Nursery Farms in Jonesboro and sped to the back of the property at the facility.

"The vehicle then made two laps around the gravel drive, and then pulled up in front of a barn," the officer wrote. [Moore] then exited the vehicle and attempted to run into the wood line, west of the barn. I then gave chase."

Waggoner's report indicates the officer subdued the suspect with a Stinger, an electronic control device, and attempted to place him under arrest. However, the officer continued, Moore refused to cooperate.

"After the [Stinger] completed its first deployment, I issued Mr. Moore verbal commands to turn over and place his hands behind his back," wrote Waggoner. "Mr. Moore would not comply with my commands, and I attempted a second deployment ..., but the [Stinger] did not affect Mr. Moore."

According to Waggoner, a Clayton Police officer then fired his TASER at the suspect, enabling Henry Police to take the suspect into custody.

The Henry officer's report states an odor of alcohol was evident when authorities approached Moore. Waggoner said police also found an open bottle of Skol Vodka and an open Bud Ice beer can in the truck.

Moore appeared Monday in Magistrate Court, represented by the Public Defender's Office. The suspect waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and the charges were bound over to Superior Court.