Halloween night turned into a dangerous situation for both authorities and suspects after four men fled from officers and dodged bullets during a high-speed chase in Viola. Authorities arrested a 17-year-old Salem man in connection with the incident.
Fulton County Deputy David Estes called for assistance after he began the pursuit of a maroon Ford pickup truck with a camper which was headed west on Highway 62 at speeds averaging 95 mph, according to authorities.
Reserve deputy Bruce Greene and officer James Humphrey were stationed at the intersection of Highways 62 and 223 when they spotted the truck heading through the intersection. The officers joined the chase behind Deputy Carrol Traw and Estes.
After the suspects traveled over a hill heading out of Viola the driver turned off his headlights and drove in the center of the road, according to Humphrey and Greene.
Traw and Estes were behind the truck as it passed a tractor trailer on the double yellow section of the road in a curve just behind the intersection of Cripple Creek Road and Highway 62, according to the affidavit.
The truck then suddenly turned in front of oncoming traffic without signaling onto Cripple Creek Road and headed south, which caused a substantial risk of accident to oncoming cars, Humphrey reported.
Greene and Humphrey attempted to get in front of the truck by traveling to Flora Cemetery Road because they thought the suspects would take that route to get back on the highway.
Traw and Estes contacted Humphrey via radio and reported the suspects were heading north on Flora Cemetery Road.
Humphrey and Greene had traveled over a mile down the road when they observed a truck traveling at a high rate of speed heading in their direction.
Humphrey said he positioned the patrol car on the right side of the road and exited the vehicle. He positioned himself in front of his car approximately two feet into the northbound lane.
Humphrey said the suspect's truck accelerated at him and then swerved in his direction. "I was scared for my life, jumped in the direction of the ditch as the truck's right mirror grazed me," he wrote.Humphrey fired at the suspect's right rear tire and the truck hit the drivers side mirror of the patrol car and proceeded north on Flora Cemetery Road, he said.
Greene and Humphrey got back into the patrol car and chased the truck, he said.
The vehicle was disabled by a flat tire, and when officers located it approximately one mile north the occupants were attempting to exit the truck, he said.
The driver's door on the truck would not open so the driver was crawling through the window, he said.
Four suspects were taken into custody but only two were arrested.
The suspect exiting the driver's side window was identified as Louis J. Goodson, 17, Humphrey said.
Goodson admitted he had been driving and drinking, according to the arrest affidavit. He was given a breathalyzer test by Estes which indicated a blood alcohol reading of .120, Humphrey reported.
Goodson was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville. He was released the following morning after posting bond in the amount of $2,500, according to JoAnn Cunningham, chief jailer at the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.
Goodson has been charged as an adult with fleeing and aggravated assault, Martz said.
James Allen, 21, of Horatio, a passenger in the car, was arrested for public intoxication but released the next day after he posted bond in the amount of $215, said Martz.
The vehicle was towed from the scene by Lynn's Auto Salvage.
Sheriff Lloyd Martz said, "I hate these chases. Very rarely do they turn out good. This chase could have easily been terminated if they (suspects) had stopped."