FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - After a five-mile chase through two counties, Fayette County deputies forced a car to stop, arrested the driver, and discovered a two-month-old baby and two other children sitting in the car.
"After a pursuit at 2 a.m., you don't expect a two-month-old and a car seat in the back," said Sheriff Barry Babb, who said deputies were shocked the driver would take the children on a dangerous car ride to elude law enforcement.
The Sheriff said, after the vehicle would not stop for a deputy off Highway 279, the vehicle kept driving erratically for five miles through Fayette and Clayton Counties, reaching speeds up to 56 miles per hour, before deputies deployed stop sticks to puncture the tires.
The Sheriff said law enforcement was puzzled as to why the car kept eluding them, albeit at medium speeds.
"Why don't they stop? It unnerves you a little bit more, because none of this makes sense. Usually perpetrators run. This was a casual pursuit," Babb said.
Dashcam video shows deputy vehicles cornering the suspect's car, and the suspect still trying to drive away to escape, despite the car's flat tires.
Deputies can be seen ordering the driver and another adult passenger outside at gunpoint. Both surrender peacefully, and the driver can be heard telling deputies on tape, he was "scared" to pull over.
Deputies said 19-year-old Gabriel Lanier was the children's older stepbrother, and was driving his stepmother's vehicle. Lanier faces three counts of child cruelty in the second degree for bringing his stepsiblings on a harrowing escape from deputies, a felony charge of eluding law enforcement, and numerous driving violations.