A Decatur man faces a host of charges after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop Thursday afternoon and dragging a Dunwoody police officer on I-285.
Authorities on Friday released the names of both the officer and the man accused of dragging him after he was pulled over for using his phone behind the wheel. They also released dash camera footage of the incident.
The incident began when Dunwoody Officer Nathan Daley made a traffic stop on Ashford Dunwoody Road near the I-285 entrance ramp around lunchtime, police spokesman Sgt. Robert Parsons said.
Daley reportedly stopped the driver, identified as 35-year-old Derric Alexander Simpson, for violating the state’s hands-free law.
While speaking with Daley on the side of the road, Simpson started to put his Chevrolet Malibu into gear, police said. The officer reached into the vehicle to stop him when Simpson allegedly took off with Daley partially inside.
Daley’s body struck several cars as he was dragged alongside the vehicle and onto the interstate, Parsons said. He fell to the ground when Simpson struck a white Ford van in the interstate’s westbound lanes, authorities said.
Another officer pursued Simpson until he was involved in a multivehicle wreck near Roswell Road, police said.
The driver bailed from his vehicle and tried to run away on foot, but police caught up with him, Parsons said
Other officers didn’t wait for an ambulance to arrive at the scene. Instead, the injured policeman was loaded into a patrol car, Parsons said. He was later released from the hospital and is now recovering at home, police said.
In a video released by the department Friday afternoon, a battered and bruised Daley tells supporters he’s doing well and that he’ll “bounce back.”
Simpson faces 10 charges related to the incident, including aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated battery, fleeing or attempting to elude police, trafficking ecstasy, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, hit-and-run, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violating Georgia’s hands-free law.
He remains held at the DeKalb County jail without bond, records show.
The chase closed all but two westbound lanes of I-285, and the entrance ramp to Ashford Dunwoody Road was also shut down. The roadway reopened about 2 p.m.
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