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High Speed Pursuit Ends in Bartow County, Deputy Narrowly Avoids Injury While Searching for Evidence

Press Release:  Gordon County Sheriff’s Office 9/29/2015

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 2 p.m. yesterday (September 28th), a Gordon County deputy sheriff stopped an automobile for a routine traffic violation on Interstate 75 (South) near Calhoun. When the deputy approached the automobile the occupants began acting suspiciously, and the deputy saw that the driver was armed with a handgun. After the driver refused to comply with the deputy’s commands to show his hands, the vehicle, a white, 2003 Accura, sped away at a high rate of speed with the deputy in pursuit. The pursuing deputy was quickly joined by a number of other Sheriff’s units as the chase progressed southward toward Bartow County. As the chase entered Bartow County, state troopers joined the pursuit. A handgun was thrown from the automobile near the Adairsville Exit and actually struck another vehicle, breaking the windshield. This weapon was recovered by other Gordon County deputies. Video evidence revealed that some type of packaged white powder was also thrown out of the violator’s car. The package disentegrated on the roadway in the rain and heavy traffic and was not recovered. The pursuit continued on to Exit 296 / Cass-White Road where Barow County deputy sheriffs joined in and ‘stop sticks’ were deployed by other troopers forcing the vehicle to a stop on Cass-White Road. The driver, identified as one Virsna Angel Sieng, age 38, of Hillard, Ohio, and his two passengers,  Timothy Floyd Dean, age 33, of Columbus, Ohio, and a female whose name is not being releaed at this time, also of Columbus Ohio, were all arrested at the scene without further resistance. Sieng was charged with: Felon with Firearm, (Felony) Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, and other traffic related charges. Dean was also charged with Felon with a Firearm. Gordon County authorities have reason to believe that Sieng was free on bail/bond for a drug related offense in Ohio at the time of his capture. All three are being held in the county jail as the investigation continues.

Later that same afternoon about 6:45 p.m., the same deputy who’d initiated the pursuit was outside of his patrol car along with a state trooper on the roadside of Interstate 75 near where the handgun was recovered. As the deputy was searching for evidence on the roadside, an oncoming vehicle left the roadway speeding toward the officers. The trooper threw the deputy out of the automobile’s path while diving away himself. The vehicle continued southward with both officers in pursuit. The trooper and deputy were able to stop this automobile a short distance southward. The driver, identified as one Eric Garcia, age 25, of Ontario, California was arrested at the scene without resistance and charged with DUI. Sheriff’s deputies collected statements from several civilian witnesses in both of these events.  Garcia is also in jail. Sheriff Ralston said, “All of the officers involved in these events today did a tremendous job in protecting the lives of innocent people on the roadway. In particular, the state trooper who pulled my deputy out of the path of the drunken driver in an extraordinary act placed his own life in jeopardy in doing so. They both quite possibly saved additional lives in removing two dangerous drivers from the roadway.”