COVINGTON — A man allegedly abandoned his vehicle while it was still moving and attempted to flee on foot from police, but was caught and is now facing multiple drug and gun charges.
The incident began about 9:15 p.m. May 9, according to a report from the Covington Police Department. An officer was on patrol on Lochridge Boulevard when a black vehicle turned left in front of him without yielding onto Ga. Highway 142. The officer turned on his emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop.
The driver refused to stop and increased his speed, turning left onto Settlers Grove Road, right onto Waterford Road, and then left onto Huntcliff Place. As the officer continued his pursuit, he reported seeing the driver’s door open and a man wearing a white shirt and blue jeans jump from the moving vehicle and ran from the scene.
The officer had already radioed for assistance and began chasing the suspect on foot. The driver ran across the road and through a yard. When he attempted to jump a fence, the officer deployed his Taser and the male fell to the ground on the other side of the fence. The officer jumped the fence and handcuffed the suspect.
The suspect, who it was later determined gave a false name, complained of knee and hand pain and the officer radioed for EMS to come to the scene. A second officer arrived to stay with the suspect while the first officer when back to the vehicle, which had stopped but was still running, and secured it.
Another officer arrived and they began walking the path the suspect had taken while he was fleeing. The officer found a black handgun near a tree. He noted that the gun was mostly dry, but that the ground was wet from a recent heavy rainfall. The handgun had a bullet in the chamber and a magazine with 14 more bullets. The serial number was run and came back with no history.
The officer searched the suspect’s vehicle and found a jar in the center console allegedly containing several plastic bags containing suspected methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Also found in one of the bags were four pills suspected of being Ecstasy. Found in the center console was a scale. Found on the passenger seat was a green bag containing small plastic bags.
EMS transported the suspect to Piedmont Newton Hospital for treatment for his hand and knee injuries, then he was transported to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center.
It was determined that the suspect’s real identity was Curtis Jerome Baynes, 49, of Covington and he had several warrants for his arrest. Baynes was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, failure to yield, and probation violation.