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Long County chase nabs alleged burglar
1209 Donta Chapman
Donta Chatman - photo by Long County Sheriff's Department photo
Last Friday, a Hinesville man led deputies on a 20-mile chase through Long County. Authorities eventually apprehended the suspect in McIntosh County and took him into custody.
According to Long County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Shane Middleton, at around 9 a.m. Friday, a woman who lives on Poole Road in the Freedom Estates subdivision said she came home to find a 2008 Chevy Silverado parked in her driveway. As she pulled into the driveway, a man approached her car window and motioned for her to roll it down. She refused and the man, who later was identified as Donta Chatman, 21, jumped into his truck and drove off. The woman called the LCSD and they arrived at her house at 9:10 a.m.
As they neared Poole Road, Middleton and Deputy Julius Bergeron said they saw the Silverado turn onto Highway 57, going north toward Ludowici. Middleton tried to block the road, but was forced to the side as Chatman refused to stop the truck.
Chief Deputy Robert Berry joined Bargeron and Middleton in the pursuit. Before reaching Ludowici, the three deputies managed to pin Chatman in, but he backed the pickup into Bergeron’s cruiser and fled again, this time headed south on Highway 57.
Middleton got in front of the Silverado, which was traveling in excess of 100 mph. Berry and Bergeron followed and the chase moved into McIntosh County. Middleton tried to slow the truck, but Chatman slammed into the rear of the deputy’s car.
Middleton said the suspect turned onto Rowe and Turner Drive and lost control of his truck. The vehicle crashed into a pine tree and came to a rest in a ditch containing about two feet of water.
Middleton said Chatman tried to run, but the deputies restrained him. Middleton said Chatman fought the deputies and had to be Tasered and dry-stunned before he was handcuffed.
Middleton said the suspect was taken to Ludowici, where he was looked at by Liberty/Long County EMS, for a cut sustained in the wreck. Chatman complained of heart pain and told authorities he had undergone heart surgery in the past. The EMS unit took him to Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville where he was treated and released to the LCSD. Chatman was processed and detained.
According to LCSD Investigator Nicky Anderson, a footprint was found at the residence on Poole Street, that matched Chatman’s shoe print. The investigator said the victim also identified Chatman as the man in her driveway.
Anderson said his investigation found a back door at the Poole Street house had apparently been kicked in, and a flat screen TV, two laptop computers and a Nintendo Wii were found on the floor.
Middleton said Chatman was charged with burglary, aggravated assault on a police officer, obstruction of a law enforcement officer attempting to do his job, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and several other driving offenses.
Anderson said the suspect is also being investigated for several other break-ins in Long and Liberty counties, Hinesville and Richmond Hill.
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