Atlanta police issued a warrant Wednesday for an Atlanta man on attempted murder and other charges for the vehicular assault on a local bicyclist June 9.
Police are seeking Joseph Alan Lewis, 19, as a suspect in the attack on Gregory T. Germani, 50, in the Morningside neighborhood. Lewis’ girlfriend Shanelle Woodard, 22, also of Atlanta, was arrested Wednesday and charged with tampering with evidence.
Lt. Rod Woody said police are positive that the Dodge Nitro impounded June 23 was the one that hit Germani on June 9. Woody added that the Nitro is owned by Lewis.
“We did collect evidence at the scene that we were able to connect to the vehicle absolutely,” Woody said. “And we have some video evidence with (Woodard) tampering with evidence.”
Germani was in intensive care at Grady Memorial Hospital for several weeks with brain trauma, but has been steadily improving, said his girlfriend, Beth Anne Harrill. He has since been released from Grady and is recovering in a private facility.
“He’s doing better,” Harrill said Wednesday. “He is beginning to say some words and he is making gradual improvements each day but it is going to be a long, long, long recovery for him.”
Germani is the creator of the local historical site, Atlanta Time Machine. A Crime Stoppers reward fund for information in Germani’s case raised almost $18,000, and it was a tip from Crime Stoppers that led police to Lewis’ Dodge Nitro, Woody said.
Police still believe that Lewis is in Atlanta, Woody said.
“We are hoping that he will come and turn himself in,” Woody said. “He is aware that we are actively looking for him.”
Police also have a surveillance video of the moments before the incident on June 9. The nine-second video shows a red Dodge Nitro heading down Flagler Avenue in one direction before disappearing out of view. Next, a cyclist speeds down the street in the opposite direction, soon followed by the Dodge Nitro.
Police say the car hit Germani before speeding away. Germani suffered serious injuries to the head, neck, and torso.
Witnesses say that Germani and the driver of the vehicle engaged in a verbal dispute moments before Germani was hit.
After the dispute, Germani sped off down Flagler Avenue, as if fleeing the SUV, while the SUV took off after him, witnesses said.
Witnesses found Germani under a silver SUV parked along the curb in the 1800 block of Flagler Avenue, while the red SUV was seen speeding away, taking a right onto Rock Springs Road toward Piedmont Avenue.