Partygoers at the American Legion Post 509 in Winder had a close call last weekend, when a motorist being pursued by police drove his car onto the post’s lawn and stopped just 10 feet from the crowd.
According to a Winder Police Department report about the incident, 22-year-old Quenton Evans’ Oldsmobile Cutlass caught the attention of an officer because of the volume of its music just after midnight on Feb. 14. The officer then watched the driver turn the car so fast onto Pine Street that it fishtailed. On his next turn, he didn’t use a turn signal.
The officer says in the report he turned on his vehicle’s emergency lights to make a traffic stop, but instead of stopping, the driver began driving faster and made a succession of turns – onto Oak Street, Capitol Avenue and Tuggle Street, without signaling and while running stop signs.
The incident took on a more ominous tone when the vehicle then jumped a curb and began coming across the lawn of the American Legion building.
“The vehicle then accelerated toward the building, which was occupied by about 100 people with people standing outside,” the report states. “The driver… stopped the vehicle 10 feet from the building and also 10 feet from bystanders (at) the party.”
The driver then got out of his car and took off running, discarding his jacket and shirt and attempting to jump over a fence that fell over, the report states.
The officer jumped over the fence, caught the suspect and ordered him to the ground, where he was handcuffed and then taken to jail.
Evans, of 230 Wood Ave. in Winder, was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, obstruction of an officer, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, failing to use his vehicle’s turn signals, failing to stop at stop signs, failing to drive within a single lane, and playing his car’s audio system so loudly that it could be heard from 100 feet away.
(For more public safety news, see the Feb. 18 issue of the Barrow Journal.)