NWGA Scanner | December 4th, 2021

Whitfield County deputy uses PIT maneuver to end early morning pursuit with DUI driver

According to a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office incident report, on Saturday, November 20th, 2021, at approximately 3:50 AM, Deputy Peden, and Deputy Koehler responded to I-75 Southbound exit 336 in reference to a BOLO. The caller advised 911 that a red SUV was failing to maintain the lane and striking guard rails around approximately the 343-mile marker of I-75 southbound. According to the report, “Deputy Peden and Deputy Koehler were able to contact the red SUV at the 333 MM of I-75 SB. Deputy Peden observed a red/maroon 2008 Ford Escape publicly displaying Georgia Registration, driven by Ms. Keolani Emetario, 27, of Dalton, to change lanes from the middle lane to the far left lane just before the I-75 Southbound 333 exit. Deputy Peden observed Ms. Emetario maneuver her vehicle from the far left lane to the far right lane onto the exit ramp. Deputy Peden observed Ms. Emetario cross over the right fog line, failing to maintain the barrier of her lane. Deputy Peden initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of the I-75 Southbound 333 exit ramp and West Walnut Avenue. Deputy Peden observed Ms. Emetario make eye contact with Deputy Peden after utilizing his emergency lights, strobing blue and white in color. Deputy Peden observed Ms. Emetario come to a stop just before the intersection. Deputy Peden exited his patrol vehicle to approach the red/ maroon Ford Escape driven by Ms. Emetario to make contact and explain the reason for the stop, fail to maintain lane.” As Deputy Peden exited his patrol vehicle, he again made eye contact with Emetario through her driver’s side mirror. Emetario then accelerated aggressively, taking a right onto West Walnut Avenue. Deputy Peden and Deputy Koehler returned to their patrol vehicles and initiated a pursuit with Emetario. Emetario then took a right onto College Drive, reducing her speed. According to the report, “With the safety of the surrounding public in mind due to the circumstances of the bolo, Deputy Peden’s observations of Ms. Emetario’s manifestations of driving, as well as the pursuit now heading in the direction of multiple hotels and college dorms, Deputy Peden requested permission to utilize the Precision Immobilization Technique or (PIT) to terminate the pursuit, from the on-shift supervisor Sgt. Brunson via radio. Sgt. Brunson gave permission to utilize the Percision Immobilization Technique or (PIT) to terminate the pursuit. Deputy Peden maneuvered the front right corner of his patrol vehicle to the rear driver’s side bumper of Ms. Emetario’s vehicle. Deputy Peden utilized the right corner of his push bumper, making contact with the rear driver’s side bumper of Ms. Emetario’s vehicle. Deputy Peden then maneuvered his vehicle slightly to the right, maintaining contact and control of both vehicles, resulting in Ms. Emetario’s vehicle to rotate counter clockwise losing traction with the roadway. Deputy Peden maintained contact with Ms. Emetario’s vehicle terminating her freedom to maneuver the vehicle further.” Both deputies exited their patrol vehicles to conduct a felony stop on Emetario. She was taken from the vehicle and placed into custody. Emetario appeared to be very confused, as well as her eyes to be glassy and bloodshot. According to the report, “Deputy Peden asked Ms. Emetario what is going on. Ms. Emetario stated that all she knew was that she went drinking with her friends and drove home.” Deputies reported observing the odor of alcoholic beverages emitting from Emetario’s breath. Emetario refused to give her name to Deputy Peden. Emetario’s response was, “Look it up”. Emetario was transported to the Whitfield County Jail, where she showed a blood alcohol content of .181 BAC. Emetario was charged with DUI driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing or attempting to elude, and failing to maintain a lane.