Media release: A Cedartown woman faces multiple charges following what law enforcement agencies say was a lengthy, wild chase. The pursuit ended after a responding Cedartown police officer, in defense of his own safety, fired shots into the vehicle driven by 56-year-old Theresa Elizabeth Spain. No one was injured during the incident, and law enforcement officers were eventually able to pull Spain from her vehicle and arrest her.
Pursuit of the individual began around 11 p.m. Saturday after a 911 call reported a burgundy Ford Explorer driving recklessly and harassing other motorists in the area of U.S. 27 and the Floyd County line. While patrolling the city limits, Cedartown officers spotted a vehicle matching the description of the 911 call. The vehicle was driving with no headlights in the area of Jule Peek Avenue.
A traffic stop was attempted but, according to reports, the driver ran a red light. Additional officers reported to the scene and tried to box in the Explorer. The driver was able to maneuver around the patrol cars, and led the officers on a chase down Main Street, U.S. 27, Davis Road, Shifflett Road, and a privately owned gravel driveway. The Explorer performed several evasive maneuvers on the gravel drive and struck a patrol vehicle as it fled, driving east bound and ending up back on Davis Road.
As the vehicle traveled down Davis Road, it left the roadway but continued to travel. Cedartown officers were able to position the Explorer between the patrol car and a power pole in an attempt to block in the vehicle again; however, the Explorer struck the patrol car and spun it around.
According to reports, the Explorer came to a brief stop. During this time, three officers were able to approach the Explorer and break the window in an unsuccessful effort to remove the driver from the vehicle. Another officer at the scene drew his service weapon and instructed the driver to get out of the vehicle. That officer reported hearing the Explorer’s engine rev. According to the report, the suspect “gave the vehicle so much gas, the tires were spinning and the engine was revving loudly.” The report states that the driver aimed the vehicle at the officer and began to drive toward him at a high rate of speed. In fear for his own safety, and the other officers on the scene, the officer fired three rounds in the driver side of the Explorer. The driver was not hit by the bullets. The vehicle continued to drive at a high rate of speed and fishtailed before driving off toward U.S. 27.
Officers stated that the Explorer ran the red light at Davis Road and U.S. 27 and continued down the highway, driving past the Dollar General Market. Officers again tried to box in the vehicle, but the driver struck a patrol car, breaking off the mirror. Officers were able to get in front of the Explorer and again attempted to block it in on North Main Street. The Explorer then drove onto the sidewalk and struck the same patrol car again.
The Explorer traveled down North Philpot and turned down East Avenue, heading toward Cedartown High School. The vehicle then entered onto the entrance ramp at U.S. 27 where it came to a stop near the Cedartown Middle School.
Officers from the Polk County Police Department were able to approach the Explorer on foot. The report states that the engine of the Explorer began to rev again as the Polk officers worked to pull the driver from the vehicle.
The Explorer rolled off into a ditch and the suspect was then handcuffed.
Because an officer’s weapon was discharged, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was notified immediately. Cedartown Police Department administration was also notified of the incident, as well as the Georgia State Patrol. The incident is currently an open case and is being handled by the Cedartown Police Department.
Spain was charged with one count of headlight requirements, four counts of aggravated assault, 1 count of failure to maintain lane, 1 count improper stopping in a roadway, 2 counts failure to obey traffic control device, 3 counts of felony interference with government property, 1 count of failure to yield to emergency vehicle, 1 count of obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, 1 count of fleeing or attempting to elude, 1 count of DUI and 1 count of reckless driving.