A high-speed chase that began in Liberty County ended up in Tattnall County, and to the officers’ surprise, two children were found in the back seat.
On Saturday afternoon, Liberty County Deputy J.D. Campbell was providing support to the annual fall festival held at Gum Branch Baptist Church on Highway 196 West. While parked on the side of the road with his emergency lights flashing, a vehicle described in the incident report Campbell filed as a burgundy sedan approached Campbell's location from John Wells Road traveling at what appeared to Campbell to be a high rate of speed. Campbell, using a radar mounted on front of his vehicle, clocked the sedan traveling at 95 mph in a 55-mph zone.
Campbell stated in his report that between 100 and 150 cars were parked on Highway 196 and pedestrians were crossing the road at various times.
Campbell gave chase with his dash-cam video running and eventually captured the suspect, identified as Decker Tomlin, 30 of Glennville, after running the tag. Tomlin reportedly forced vehicles off the road to avoid a head-on collision. According to Campbell's report, speeds reached in excess of 123 mph when Tomlin entered Long County and then Tattnall County.
When Tomlin turned onto Rogers Road, he was joined by Glennville Police Officer D. Skipper, according to Campbell's report.
The chase continued through the Glennville city limits where, Tomlin reportedly ran stop signs and continued to rack up moving violations. Tomlin attempted to turn onto Tillman Street, where he hit his brakes, causing Campbell's patrol car to strike Tomlin's rear bumper, according to Campbell's report.
Campbell states he was prepared to initiate the Precision Immobilization Technique, or PIT, maneuver when Tomlin pulled into the 500 block of Tillman Street.
Tomlin's vehicle was unable to move, Campbell writes, adding that it was uncertain whether the impact between the vehicles caused Tomlin’s to lose acceleration.
Tomlin exited the disabled vehicle and appeared to run, according to the report, when Skipper and Campbell — with weapons drawn — ordered Tomlin to the ground. Tomlin reportedly refused to comply with the officers’ orders, and Skipper — after several verbal commands for Tomlin to get on the ground — deployed his Taser. Once struck by the Taser, Tomlin complied and got on the ground, where he was immediately handcuffed, the report states.
When officers approached the vehicle, they found two children — one strapped in a car safety seat and another in a booster seat crying. The officers calmed the children down and inspected them for injuries.
Tomlin's mother arrived on scene and was given permission to take custody of the children as well as Tomlin's vehicle. Tomlin was transported to the Liberty County jail, where he was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, aggressive driving, reckless conduct, speeding in excess of maximum limits, weaving over roadway, and improper passing on hill/curve.
According to the report, Tomlin had an active warrant from Richmond County and was also wanted for questioning by the Hinesville Police Department prior to the pursuit.