Four deputies suspended after they wreck chasing motorcycle

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 6:03 AM
Last updated 2:53 PM
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DARIEN, Ga. -- Four McIntosh County deputies who totaled their patrol cars Saturday while chasing a motorcycle on Interstate 95 likely violated department procedure, Sheriff Steve Jessup said Monday.

"Our guys did not follow our written policy on hot pursuit," Jessup said. "It's in our standard operating procedures manual. They all have a copy."

The rider of the motorcycle has been identified as a soldier at Fort Stewart and is on hold at the Army post until McIntosh County secures warrants for his arrest, Jessup said.

Jessup said he did not know the soldier's name but would not identify him until a final witness is interviewed and the warrants are issued. He also declined to identify the four deputies until an internal affairs investigation is complete but said all four have been suspended with pay.

At least in its early stages, the chase hit speeds of 100 mph, the Liberty County Sheriff's Office told the Savannah Morning News.

"They are lucky to be alive," Jessup said of the McIntosh County deputies.

After Liberty County deputies broke off the chase, McIntosh County deputies continued to pursue the motorcycle until all four vehicles crashed just north of Darien, the Georgia State Patrol said.

Trooper Quincy Melvin told the Morning News that one of the deputies tried to pass the others in the right lane and almost ran into the rear of a truck in that lane.

As the deputy attempted to get back into the left lane, he lost control and hit another patrol car causing it to spin and hit a retaining wall, Melvin said.

Two other deputies tried to stop and one hit the other in the rear end, he said.

Jessup said all four cars, a 2008, a 2005 and two that were older, were total losses.

"I'm already short cars and now I'm more short," he said.

To continue patrols, officers will have to share cars and that will wear some out quicker.

"To run one 24 hours a day rather than 12 hours a day wears them out," he said.

Even more troubling is that I-95 is under construction throughout most of the length of the chase and that made it even more dangerous, Jessup said.

Because the roadway is lined with concrete barriers in places, motorists had no place to pull off and let the pursuing cars pass, he said.

Jessup said his office would issue a full statement on the outcome the investigation.

"We're not going to hide anything," he said.

terry.dickson@jacksonville.com, (912) 264-0405

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sick of taxes
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sick of taxes 05/12/09 - 06:44 am
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How do you spell "KEYSTONE

How do you spell "KEYSTONE COPS"?

colcamp1
10
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colcamp1 05/12/09 - 07:23 am
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It is hard putting your life

It is hard putting your life on the line, for an unappreciative public.

ImThatGuy
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ImThatGuy 05/12/09 - 07:35 am
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Colcamp1, their job is also

Colcamp1, their job is also to protect the innocent and by their actions that wasn't the case.

blues550
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blues550 05/12/09 - 07:52 am
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Innocent people could have

Unpublished

Innocent people could have been caught up in this mess as well. Don;t forget the Columbia County chase that killed innocent civilians - over a shoplifting.

tdp
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tdp 05/12/09 - 08:06 am
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Cudos to Sheriff Jessup for

Cudos to Sheriff Jessup for disciplining these officers instead of trying to cover it up. Not only did they endanger public lives, they have cost the taxpayers a lot of money. That being said, I want to say a big THANK YOU to the officers out there putting their lives on the line everday for us! You have our unwavering support as long as you follow deparmental procedure.

disssman
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disssman 05/12/09 - 09:55 am
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If they were breaking the

If they were breaking the rules, is that the same as breaking the law? If they were breaking the law will they be prosecuted? I doubt it and these type of actions will continue in the state. Get rid of the riff raff so the true public spirited officers shine thru. BTW we have a lot of very good, caring and professional officers in Richmond county and I appreciate every one of them.

NEone
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NEone 05/12/09 - 09:56 am
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Blue: The innocents would

Blue: The innocents would not have been killed if the thieves had stopped in the first place. Don't blame the cops for doing their job.

drumbeater1
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drumbeater1 05/12/09 - 10:00 am
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they'll be reinstated after

they'll be reinstated after the smoke clears.....so foolish though in this day and age....so foolish

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 05/12/09 - 10:29 am
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Amen NEone... the cops had

Amen NEone... the cops had just spotted her starting to pursue and she was already fleeing the store at a high rate of speed. She's the [filtered word] to blame plain and simple!!!

buster
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buster 05/12/09 - 10:32 am
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Golfing and fishing and still

Golfing and fishing and still on the clock!!! How do I get suspended WITH PAY???

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 05/12/09 - 10:50 am
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I am in full support of our

I am in full support of our law enforcement officials because they do put their lives on the line everyday. However, it seems these officers put their lives on the line in a foolish way. Was such a high speed chase merited for some one whose only crime was speeding? If the perp had commited a robbery or murdered someone then the chase could have been justified. These deputies need additional training from the police academy before they are allowed behind the wheel of a patrol car again.

AAQueen
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AAQueen 05/12/09 - 12:04 pm
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You really can't blame the

You really can't blame the crooks; its up to the cops to protect and serve. the crooks could care less whom they hurt.

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 05/12/09 - 12:19 pm
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They describe that section of

They describe that section of I-95 as being under construction with concrete barriers. Wouldn't that have made it simple to block the highway and bring the evil speeder to a stop.....along with the other cars and with very little risk of catastrophe? The Four Stooges were in the chase, that's for sure!

GETACLUE
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GETACLUE 05/12/09 - 01:23 pm
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I'm with themaninthemirror. I

I'm with themaninthemirror. I am usually a HUGE supporter of law enforcement but in this case I dont think the chase was neccessary. I ride that stretch of 95 all the time with my family and it is tight thru there, with the barriers, at 75 mph. A speeder definately does not justify 100 plus mph chases ,with a motorcycle, of all things. Most departments' policies would have nicked that chase early. Maybe that is what Sheriff Jessup is upset about, because these guys were continuing pursuit.

WW1949
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WW1949 05/13/09 - 09:00 am
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Why chase someone for

Why chase someone for speeding. Stupid move.

BOBO
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BOBO 05/13/09 - 04:45 pm
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god bless the thin blue

god bless the thin blue line....

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