By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A Saturday morning (October 3) attempt by an unknown man to outrun city police ended when the stolen vehicle the man was driving left a city street and bounced off a building before coming to rest on the sidewalk across the street.
Atmore Police Department reports show that the Chevy Tahoe, reported stolen by Escambia County, Fla. authorities, left Main Street at its intersection with Church Street and scraped along the side of American Legion Post 90 before sliding across Main and hitting the curb in front of Gulf Winds Credit Union, where it stopped.
Two female passengers were in the vehicle when police caught up with it, but neither was able to positively identify the man driving, except as “Darius.” The females were reportedly uninjured and were released by police.
According to witnesses, the incident began around 6 a.m. when an APD patrol officer, driving northward on Main, encountered the Tahoe moving at a high rate of speed in the other direction. When the officer activated his blue lights, the driver reportedly put the pedal to the metal.
One witness said the SUV went airborne when it hit the railroad tracks on North Main.
“I was on Main Street, at the turn light,” said Emily Caraway, who was on her way to work in Flomaton. “They jumped the tracks; they almost hit me. It was so scary. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes.”
The speeding vehicle continued for another block before the driver ran up on the sidewalk and continued along the side of the Legion headquarters, tearing chunks out of the siding and knocking a window out before veering across the street.
Reports show that witnesses told police the driver “fled the scene on foot” after the crash. A check of local and area hospitals for accident victims who might have sought medical attention was unsuccessful.