NWGA Scanner | September 8th, 2022

Rome man arrested again for DUI after leading Floyd County police on chase with small child

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On August 26th, 2022, at 10:24 PM, Sgt Ward was in the area of GA-1 and Henderson & Son funeral home, monitoring traffic when he observed a vehicle traveling at 77 mph in a 55 mph zone. Sgt Ward reported, “As [I] pulled into traffic, activated blue lights and siren, the vehicle continued north on GA-1 and did not appear the slowing down. The vehicle slowed down at one point and turned its right blinker on. [I] thought the vehicle was going to turn onto Scenic Road and come to a rest. As the vehicle made a right turn onto Scenic Road, it accelerated and rode in the middle of the roadway. At this time, it was evident that the suspect vehicle was not going to stop. As the vehicle traveled around the first curve, it nearly left the roadway, but the driver, later identified as Sheldon Verontseshon Whatley, 43, of Rome, was able to correct the vehicle.” Whatley blew through the stop sign at the end of the road and proceeded south on Old Summerville Road. During the dangerous pursuit, the vehicle accelerated at speeds over 65mph, riding in the middle of the roadway while refusing to stop. Whatley then ran through the stop sign Old Summerville Road and Warren Road and made a right turn continuing west in the direction of GA-1. Whatley then went through a parking lot at the intersection of Old Summerville and GA-1 before making a left turn onto Old Summerville Road, proceeding northbound at speeds of approximately 60mph. Whatley crossed the bridge and stopped. Sgt Ward took Whatley to gunpoint, and he complied and was taken into custody. Sgt Ward reported, “While pointing a pistol at the driver, [I] noticed a small child in the passenger seat. [I] advised the driver to keep his hands up and [I] put my pistol away. The child was terrified and crying for his mother.” Whatley advised he knew he was going to jail and asked if he could call the Childs mother. When asked why he was running, Whatley stated, “do not have a license”. Officer Vicente, PFC Wade, and PFC Doan also arrived to assist. PFC Wade took the child and entertained him until his mother arrived. Whatley showed to have a suspended license for DUI and child support along with a felony warrant through Rome Police Department for Probation Violation. PFC Forrister with HEAT arrived and advised he noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Whatley’s breath. During field sobriety testing, Whatley showed several signs of impairment. Whatley refused the state testing and was transported to the Floyd County Jail, charged with DUI, endangering a child by DUI, speeding, fleeing from police, driving on a suspended license, and probation violation.