GBI: Police shoot tire of Georgia mother’s car during DUI arrest

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A Dawsonville mother became the subject of a police chase Tuesday night after she sped away from a DUI arrest and an officer shot at her tire, the GBI said.

Authorities said Ashly Sophia Tolbert’s baby was inside the car for the entire pursuit, which wound its way through Cornelia before Tolbert crashed into another vehicle and she was arrested on the side of the road. The Habersham County city is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, about 80 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.

No one was injured during the chase or the shooting, which is now under investigation by the GBI.

Cornelia police were on the lookout for a drunk driver after getting a 911 call about a woman driving erratically about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. They were soon notified by firefighters at the Cornelia Fire Department that a woman who fit that description had stopped by and asked for directions, GBI officials said in a news release.

Tolbert, 38, and her child were still parked at the fire station when police arrived to conduct a field sobriety test on the woman. She was told she was being arrested for DUI after failing the test, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

“Tolbert drove away in her car,” Miles said. ”While Tolbert was in the process of driving away, a Cornelia police officer fired a shot at her car’s tire.”

A chase ensued, ending when Tolbert hit a bystander’s car and her own vehicle was disabled, Miles said. She was taken into custody at the scene on misdemeanor charges of DUI, endangering a child while DUI, reckless driving and hit-and-run, a spokeswoman for the Georgia State Patrol confirmed. She is also facing a felony charge of aggravated assault.

Tolbert was being held Thursday in the Habersham County Jail, and her bond had not been set, online jail records show. Her child is now in the custody of state child welfare workers.

The GSP is investigating the crash, while the GBI is investigating the use of force. It is the 49th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI’s tally.