A driver faces a kidnapping charge after a simple traffic stop in Cobb County quickly escalated in the middle of rush hour Thursday morning, Marietta police said.
The dramatic encounter started just after 7:30 a.m. when Marietta police officer Brian Wallace pulled over a man’s Ford Fusion for an unspecified traffic violation, spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said. He smelled marijuana and asked the driver to step out of the vehicle.
At first, the driver cooperated, authorities said. When a second officer, Brian Honea, arrived, “everything went sideways,” and the driver tried to take off, McPhilamy told Channel 2 Action News.
Wallace put the driver in a headlock but somehow got pulled into the man’s car, according to the news station. The second officer was shoved to the ground, and the driver sped away, according to video obtained by Channel 2.
Earlier reports said Wallace was dragged by the car, but dashcam video shows the officer was completely in the vehicle even though the door was open. At some point, the officer closed the door in order to keep from falling out, McPhilamy said.
The driver traveled for a mile and reached 71 mph before stopping in a muddy pit, police said. He and two passengers got out and tried to run but were quickly arrested by other responding officers, according to Channel 2.
“While charges are not yet finalized, Cory Moody (driver), Eyzaiya Moody and Walter Gadson Jr. (passengers) all face charges ranging from assault, obstruction, fleeing and eluding, kidnapping, felon in possession of a firearm and any traffic-related violations,” McPhilamy said.
The suspects are from Massachusetts and have been identified as gang members, according to McPhilamy.
The Georgia State Patrol and Cobb County police assisted in the investigation. Authorities said they recovered multiple handguns.
While “it was a chaotic scene,” McPhilamy said he was grateful the officers were not hurt.