Drunken driver speeds from crash scene, drags officer, Athens cops say

Officer Torie Teets
Officer Torie Teets

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

Credit: Athens-Clarke County Police Department

An Athens police officer was injured Sunday after an exchange with a drunken driver ended with her being dragged alongside a car, officials said.

The driver, 26-year-old Frank Reyes of Athens, is facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Officer Torie Teets was patrolling Preserve Drive about 9 p.m. when she spotted a car driving recklessly, Athens-Clarke County police Lt. John Radford said Monday in a news release. The 2003 Nissan Altima was speeding down the road, according to the release.

Teets moved as far to the side of the road as she could, “fearing that she would be struck,” and turned on her emergency lights, Radford said.

The Altima smashed into another car and stopped near the curb, he said.

Teets saw smoke coming out of the hood of the damaged car, got out of her vehicle and ran to the Altima to help the driver, according to police.

The driver, later identified as Reyes, seemed to be unconscious when Teets tried to get him out of the vehicle. At some point, he regained consciousness and started the car, Radford said.

“He drove away from the scene, dragging the officer with him for a distance,” he said.

The incident caused injuries to Teets’ arm. She was taken to a hospital and later released.

Reyes was arrested when other Athens officers located the vehicle nearby. A brief chase ensued, but the Altima suffered a mechanical failure.

In addition to aggravated assault, Reyes is charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, DUI, driving without a valid license, failure to maintain lane, driving with canceled registration, hit-and-run and no insurance. He is being held in the Clarke County Jail.

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