Authorities said a routine traffic stop Friday night turned into a high speed chase and sent a Liberty County Sheriff’s Office deputy to the hospital.
The deputy, Lt. Gary Eason, was taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center with minor injuries to his wrist and ankle, according to LCSO Maj. Dennis Davis. Sanders was released Friday night.
The suspect, Gregory Stanton, is charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle and a number of traffic violations after the incident, which allegedly started when LCSO Deputy Jason Sanders pulled a Kia Soul over near Forest Lake subdivision on South Main Street.
Sanders made the traffic stop around 7:30 pm. Friday because the Kia had dealer drive-off tags in which the registration dates appeared to have been filled in with magic marker, Davis said.
After checking Stanton’s information and writing him a warning ticket, Sanders was walking back to Stanton’s car when Stanton allegedly took off and drove toward Hinesville on South Main.
Sanders got back in his car and chased the Kia, which was by then going 80 mph in the 35 mph zone through heavy traffic, police said.
At this point, Davis said Eason, who was monitoring the chase, got involved and was waiting in his patrol car at the intersection of Kacey drive and South Main. Davis said Stanton turned right onto Kacey Drive and his Kia hit Eason’s patrol car, then backed up and, as Eason was trying to get out of his car, used the Kia to again ram the patrol car, trapping Eason inside. Stanton then drove away, but was arrested nearby, Davis said.
Stanton is currently at the Liberty County Jail.