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Man jumps from allegedly stolen van, which destroys hydrant
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Clarence Peter Thompson of Ludowici was arrested and charged with stealing a sport utility vehicle Saturday.
According to Ludowici Police Officer Frankie Goff, at around 12:32 a.m. Saturday, he and Officer David Parker were patrolling Academy Street when they saw a suspicious looking vehicle near Long County High School.
Goff and Parker approached the vehicle and Goff noticed it appeared
to match the description of a 2008 Ford Escape that had been reported stolen
Nov. 13.
Goff said that when the driver of the SUV noticed the police, the man tried to speed away. The officer said the SUV headed to McDonald Street and the driver, who was later identified as Thompson, shut off the headlights.
Goff said as the driver approached Academy Street, he drove on the wrong side of the road and ran a stop sign. As the SUV passed the Long County Court House, the driver opened the door and flung himself to the ground as the vehicle continued down the road.
The SUV crashed into a fire hydrant near the Long County Board of Education building and rolled on its side. Thompson ran away on foot and officers were unable to find him.
Goff said that once he and Parker got back to the Ludowici Police Department, they viewed the video of the incident and identified the suspect as Thompson.
The officers went to Thompson’s home in Ludowici and found him at home. Goff said when they interviewed Thompson, he had fresh superficial wounds, which were consistent with the injuries a person might sustain from jumping out of a moving vehicle.
Goff and Parker arrested Thompson for driving while unlicensed, reckless driving, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, leaving the scene of an accident and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.
According to LPD Chief Richard Robertson, Thompson is on probation through the Georgia Department
of Corrections and is suspected of stealing a second vehicle.
Ludowici Water Superintendent James Fuller said the accident left certain areas in Ludowici without water for about six hours Saturday. The water department responded to the call and replaced the fire hydrant.
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