NWGA Scanner | February 4th, 2021

Car thieves arrested after 100 mph chase ends with stolen vehicle crashing into house in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on January 24th, 2021, at around 1:16 AM, while Sgt. Wade was on routine patrol observed a freshly spray-painted Pontiac Sunfire pulling out of the Circle K on North Broad Street at Turner McCall. Sgt. Wade reported, “[I] was familiar with a report made on 01/22/2021 where a 2004 Silver Pontiac Sunfire had been stolen (report #2101000312PD). The Pontiac Sunfire that [I] observed pull out of the Circle K parking lot was spray painted black and blue, which is commonly done when vehicles are stolen in attempts to change the color of the vehicle so that they are not as easily detected.” The tag was a Temporary Tag, and it came back registered to the victims who reported the vehicle stolen. Sgt. Wade conducted a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle. The vehicle pulled over on Martin Luther King Blvd at Washington Street. As the officer exited his patrol vehicle, the vehicle began moving forward. The officer gave verbal commands for the vehicle to stop. Sgt. Wade reported, “the vehicle momentarily stopped and as [I] began walking forward the vehicle again began moving forward as [I] could see a female watching me in the side view mirror watching my approach to the vehicle.” The stolen vehicle, later identified to be driven by Jasmine Gonzales, 20, of Lindale, then accelerated and began to flee, turning left onto Chambers Street with speeds reaching 75 MPH. Jasmine ran stop signs at Perkins Street, Calhoun Avenue, Reservation Street, and Burnett Street. Jasmine continued traveling outbound on Calhoun Avenue with speeds reaching 80 MPH with minimal traffic on the roadway. Jasmine continued straight through the GA 1 Loop, running the red light. Jasmine continued driving recklessly out bound on Calhoun Road, traveling at speeds of 101 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. Jasmine continued fleeing, failing to maintain their lane of travel multiple times. Jasmine failed to signal her turn, turning right on East Hermitage Road, reaching speeds of 70 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. Jasmine attempted to turn left onto New Hermitage Road, losing control and wrecking into the residence at 398 New Hermitage Road. Sgt. Wade reported, “Once the vehicle wrecked [I] exited my patrol vehicle pointing my department issued pistol at the occupants of the vehicle due to not knowing if they possessed weapons that could cause me harm.” Officers Sangphim and Puckett arrived on the scene and took the fleeing felons at gunpoint. An officer holstered his weapon and took the passenger identified as Joseph Tapp, 27, of Rome, into custody. Animal control was called for two dogs that were located inside of the stolen vehicle. An officer conducted an inventory search of the vehicle resulted in finding suspected methamphetamine and other drugs. In the trunk of the vehicle was the correct tag for the vehicle, which came back through E-911 as stolen. Officer also found the can of spray paint that was used to spray paint the vehicle. The owner of the house was advised that his residence was most likely not safe to live in and needed to be inspected by a building inspector. Officers advised they were very familiar with both suspects. The passenger Joseph Tapp was just arrested on October 3rd of last year after leading FCPD Officer Puckett on 1:00 AM high-speed chase and foot pursuit. Joseph later stated while getting cleared at Floyd Medical Center that he did not know the car was stolen, but when asked why he helped spray paint the vehicle, he stated that he just did some “touch-ups” on the vehicle. The officer reported that Joseph’s hands were covered in blue and black spray paint. Once Jasmine and Joseph were medically cleared, they were transported to the Floyd County Jail. Jasmine was booked and charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property, 2nd-degree criminal damage to property, felony fleeing or attempting to elude, concealing the identity of a vehicle, reckless driving, two counts of running a stop sign, speeding, running a red light, failure to maintain a lane, improper lane change, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of drugs not in the original container, and possession of drug-related objects. Joseph was booked and charged with theft by receiving stolen property, 2nd-degree criminal damage to property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and possession of drug-related objects.