VIDEO: Athens Police end dangerous chase safely

- A traffic stop turned into a life-threatening situation for police officers early Saturday morning.

According to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, one of their officers pulled over Darion Gordon, 24, just before 5 a.m. near downtown Athens for improper display of a license plate. 

Police body camera video obtained by FOX 5 News shows Gordon question the reason for the stop and then drive away from the officer.  Gordon lead police on a chase into Oconee County before he turned back towards Athens and began driving the wrong way on Georgia Highway 10. 

"He just hit a vehicle head on," one officer said on the video.

Officers said Gordon eventually crossed back over onto the right side of the road before he struck a patrol car.  His SUV finally came to a stop in the median. 

"Traffic stops at any point can go from just what people would call 'a routine traffic stop' to a circumstance like this and even worse," explained Officer Epifanio Rodriguez, a police spokesman.  "It's one of the more dangerous things that a law enforcement officer can put themselves into."

Video shows Gordon continued to disobey police commands so officers broke out the windows of his vehicle.  Police discovered Gordon had a knife in his hand and at one point, threatened to slit his own throat.  Officers shocked Gordon with a stun gun and successfully took him into custody.

"It's our responsibility to make sure he gets out of this safely.  [Regardless] of whether or not he just fled from us, he is still our responsibility and we have a responsibility to protect him from himself," said Rodriguez.

Gordon remains in the Athens-Clarke County Jail on $15,000 bond.  He is charged with 16 separate crimes from running stop signs to reckless driving. 

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