ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - A Rockdale County deputy was airlifted to the hospital after investigators said a minivan he was chasing rammed into his patrol car.
It happened a little before 3 p.m. near the corner of Sigman Road and Callaway Crossing Drive. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the pursuit started after an attempted robbery at a Conyers pawn shop. Six people were in the minivan when it fled from the scene.
"I heard the crash ‘cause it was like... Screech... Boom… And then I heard a lot of police cars," said Lorin Allen, an eyewitness.
"The suspects were able to use their vehicle and start rear-ending and ramming their vehicle into the deputies vehicle. And they also hit other multiple vehicles during the chase as well,” said Rockdale County Sheriff’s Investigator Dawn Murrain.
Murrain said no one in the civilian cars hit by the fleeing van was injured, but it was a chase which ended badly for Deputy Jerry Poreba. He was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center after being rammed off the road and into a fence.
SKYFOX 5 flew over the scene shortly after the crash. It spotted a piece of wood sticking out through the windshield of that patrol car and the fence completely leveled.
Allen said she then saw the suspects flee into her neighborhood. Investigators said they arrested several in short order. Two others were arrested at a townhome on Hawkeye Lane about an hour after deputies arrived and served a search warrant.
"Once they went in they just brought them out. They brought them out one at a time. The first guy came out he had blood all over him. And the second guy came out and he came out peacefully," said
Investigators said they are still trying to determine what connection the young men have to that home.
A spokesman for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office says Deputy Poreba is recovering at Atlanta Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
This incident was a reminder to Poreba’s colleagues that things can quickly change when crime and chaos become entangled.
"When this happens you just have to remain alert attentive, safety first and just be careful and just be sure that you go home at the end of the day," said Investigator Murrain.
The woman who lives at the home where the fence was destroyed wished the deputy well but also wondered who would pay for her fence.
As of late Wednesday night investigators say two of the six had been arrested. They were still interviewing the other four.
Four Charged after Chase
Authorities said they have made four arrests in a chase that ended up injuring a Rockdale County deputy:
Kevin Wade, 31, Baltimore, Maryland, was charged with aggravated assault, felony fleeing, reckless driving, and hit and run. Investigators said he was driving the getaway van that they said ran Deputy Poreba to a fence. In addition to those and various other traffic related charged, Wade was also charged with entering an auto and theft by taking stemming from the original incident.
Also in the car, was 23-year-old Ronald Hall, 17-year-old Dayquan Walker, and 29-year-old Jamia Butler, all from Baltimore. Charges for each range from entering an auto and theft by taking to being a party to a crime.
All were booked into the Rockdale County Jail.
A 12-year-old girl and 19-year-old female were also taken into custody, but were not charged.