NWGA Scanner | August 22nd, 2022

Wanted North Carolina man arrested after 100 mph chase in Whitfield County

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On August 13th, 2022, at 8:34 PM, Lt. O`Mahony was traveling north on the South Bypass when he observed a white passenger car and a black pickup truck racing southbound travel through the intersection at Airport Road in a very high rate of speed and in a reckless manner. According to the report, “Lt. O`Mahony, then made a U-turn in an attempt to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicles. Once Lt O`Mahony was southbound, he could see the vehicles approaching the intersection at Wagner Drive being slowed down by traffic. Lt. O`Mahony, first caught up with the white vehicle, a Ford Focus, and motioned for the driver, later identified as Jamie Nunez, to pull over and then got in behind the black truck, a Ford F-150, and initiated a traffic stop. Both vehicles stopped on the South Bypass near the intersection of Piney Ridge Road. Mr. Nunez denied racing the truck that he was just driving beside the truck, trying to get the driver’s attention to let him know he liked his truck.” Sgt. Barnett arrived and stated that both vehicles had passed him on the bypass near the intersection of Cedar Ridge Road, racing side by side at a high rate of speed. Sgt. Barnett that he was attempting to catch up with them when they were stopped. The driver of the truck was later identified as Johnny Tran, 30, of Bryson City, North Carolina. Tran stated that his son was sick and that he was trying to get to the hospital. When he was advised that the hospital was in the opposite direction in which he was going, he then stated, “he wasn’t from around here. He was from North Carolina and was going to the hospital in Calhoun.” Tran then stated he had a loaded gun and pointed to an area on the dash where the gun was attached to a magnet. According to the report, “Lt. O`Mahony asked for his name and date of birth, and Mr. Tran replied Hieu Hoang with a date of birth of September 11th, 1982. Lt. O`Mahony noticed that Mr. Tran had trouble remembering what year he was born in. The female passenger Ms. Planzer appeared to be extremely nervous while Lt. O`Mahony was speaking with Mr. Tran. Lt. O`Mahony advised Mr. Tran to remain in the vehicle while he went back to his patrol car to run his information. While walking back to the patrol car, Lt. O`Mahony advised Sgt. Barnett that something doesn’t seem right. At that time, Lt. O`Mahony and Sgt. Barnett heard the truck’s engine rev up, gravel being thrown as the truck took off at a high rate of speed south on the bypass.” The truck continued to flee south on the bypass in excess of 100 mph in a 55 mph zone turning right onto IVC Dr. The truck then continued onto Callahan Road, Cavender Road, and New Zion Hill Road, where deputies lost visual. Thanks to a concerned citizen Deputy Carter was able to locate the vehicle at 179 Gardenia Street, where Tran was taken into custody. Tran was checked through GCIC and showed to have a suspended license with warrants through Chatsworth PD, Canton PD, and Gainsville PD. The truck’s registration through GCIC showed the truck’s registration to be suspended with no valid insurance. Two firearms were also located inside the vehicle. Tran was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where he was charged with racing on highways or streets, speeding, reckless driving, suspended registration, no insurance, driving while license suspended, driving on the wrong side of the road, felony fleeing to elude, headlight requirements, possession of a firearm during the commission of felony, false name and date of birth, and reckless endangerment.