NWGA Scanner | February 27th, 2022

GSP trooper uses PIT maneuver to end high-speed pursuit with unlicensed DUI driver in Floyd County

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on February 19th, 2022, at 6:00 PM, Officer McMeekin and Officer Masciovecchio were patrolling the area of Burlington and Calhoun Road. Officer McMeekin reported, “[I] was informed by PFC. Masciovecchio who was informed by PFC. Pelanek, who was off-duty, that a male later identified as James Dewayne Bennett, 56, of Adairsville, was driving a white Ford Transit van in the area and had a suspended driver’s license and possibly no insurance on the vehicle. As we arrived in the parking lot of the Circle K to handle a private lot wreck, PFC. Masciovecchio brought to my attention the white transit van was there. [I] then began to watch the vehicle and checked the status of the registration, which returned suspended via Floyd 911. While watching the vehicle, [I] noticed a white male exit the vehicle and enter the store and return, and begin to leave. [I] then followed behind the vehicle, which turned right onto Ga 53 Northbound. [I] then advised PFC. Masciovecchio, the van left, and he followed in behind me and asked if it was a male driver [I] advised yes and [I] re-confirmed with Floyd 911 the registration being suspended, and they confirmed it. PFC. Masciovecchio then advised Floyd 911 that we would be initiating a traffic stop on the vehicle on GA 53 just south of Calhoun Rd. As we both activated our patrol vehicle’s emergency blue lights, the vehicle continued to travel northbound on GA 53 and made a right turn onto Calhoun Road.” Officer advised Floyd 911 they were in pursuit. Officer Masciovecchio gave updates during the duration of the pursuit to update Floyd 911 and other responding units, including Georgia State Patrol. According to the report, “As the pursuit continued, Bennett began to drive reckless, showing no regard for other persons by traveling at speeds 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, failed to maintain lane, and failed to stop at stop signs.” The pursuit continued down Calhoun Road, turned right onto Berwin Rdoa, then from Berwin Road to Tift Road and onto Bells Ferry Road. The pursuit went right onto GA 140, traveling east to GA 53. Bennet then turned right to travel South on Ga 53. Georgia State Patrolman sanders then became the lead car in the pursuit and performed a PIT maneuver on the vehicle to end the pursuit. The vehicle, which then ran off the roadway and through a road sign before, came to rest on the shoulder of GA 53 south of GA 140. Officers took the Bennet at gunpoint and began issuing loud verbal commands. Bennett failed to exit the vehicle and was assisted out of the vehicle, where he was placed under arrest. Officers then located a white baggie containing meth. After Bennett was medically cleared he was transported to the Floyd County Jail, charged with possession of methamphetamine, attempting to elude police, stop sign violation, speeding, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, failure to maintain lane, fleeing, driving on a suspended registration, aggressive driving, obstruction, reckless driving, and DUI.