NWGA Scanner | October 7th, 2021
According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, on September 5th, 2021, at approximately 12:05 AM, Trooper Whitfield responded to an officer down call stemming from pursuit in Catoosa County. The trooper arrived and observed Catoosa County Deputy Coby Cunningham laying on a driveway being given emergency medical treatment by Puckett medics. Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Lawson requested that Trooper Whitfield handle all charges, including the fleeing and attempting to elude due to Deputy Cunningham’s condition. Deputy Cunningham was seriously injured while pursuing the suspect on foot. The pursuit started when the suspect failed to produce identification at a roadblock and then took off in a 1997 Honda Civic. The driver was identified as Jonathan Edward Simpson, 33, of Rossville. Simpson showed having a suspended Georgia driver’s license and multiple warrants through the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office. Simpson stated to the trooper that he fled because he knew he had warrants. Trooper Whitfield reported, “The crash investigation showed that Mr. Simpson was driving recklessly while fleeing law enforcement at a high rate of speed too fast for the road conditions. He failed to maintain a lane and drove on the wrong side of the road. The vehicle had tires that did not meet the minimum requirements. [I] checked the tag displayed on the vehicle. It was not assigned to any vehicle. [I] checked the VIN number, and it showed the vehicle was unregistered with no valid insurance.” It was also determined that Simpson was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was distracted while fleeing law enforcement. Trooper Whitfield reported, “While speaking to Mr. Simpson, [I] observed that his eyes were constricted. He was sweating profusely and shaky. He was talking fast. He appeared to be highly impaired and under the influence of what [I] have observed through my training and experience to be methamphetamine. [I] asked him if he had ingested methamphetamine. He stated that he smoked it approximately five hours prior to driving. He had a hypodermic needle in his possession that he used to “shoot” up with. The trooper also located unidentified pills in Simpson’s pocket. The trooper read Simpson the Georgia Implied Consent Notice for Suspect age 21 and over requesting a blood sample. He verbally agreed by stating yes. According to the report, “He later refused when it was time for the blood draw.” Simpson was transported to the Catoosa County Jail, charged with safety belts; required usage, due care, tires, no proof of insurance, registration and license plate requirement, possession of drug-related objects, prescription drugs must be in their original container, prescription drugs must be in their original container, DUI/drugs/less safe, driving while license suspended or revoked, speed restrictions basic rules, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, driving on right side of the roadway, removing or affixing license plate for the purpose of concealing the identity of vehicle, probation violation-felony, and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.