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A Calhoun man faces 14 charges following an early-morning car chase on Wednesday that officials said started in Dalton, continued into Catoosa County and ended back in Whitfield County.
Tracy Jerome Fox, 45, of 1261 Newton Church Road, eluded a Dalton police officer who attempted to stop his van on Tampico Drive on a license plate violation around 1:30 a.m., said police spokesman Bruce Frazier. Fox headed north out of town and the officer broke off the chase “after a mile,” said Frazier, following the department’s chase policy on minor traffic violations.
“(The officer) had information on the tag and knew that the driver did not have insurance,” Frazier said.
Tunnel Hill police officer Thomas Agredano gave chase on Highway 201 west of Rocky Face, said Chief Roy Brunson. Meanwhile, Whitfield 911 received information from a third party in a Gordon County hotel who chose to remain unnamed that Fox had a female, Tammy Pasley, in the van, and “says he’s got a gun (on her) and will shoot her if (police officers) don’t back off,” according to the 911 recording.
Brunson said Agredano followed Fox “into a subdivision or two and back out, and failing to yield (Fox) went into Catoosa County.” Up to that point, units from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Dalton post of the Georgia State Patrol were involved.
Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said the protocol for his department is to let state troopers cross county lines while his officers wait in support if the chase turns back their way. Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office units joined the chase there.
A state patrol spokeswoman said the chase also covered Cottonwood Mill Road, Dogwood Valley Road and Houston Valley Road in Whitfield. Fox turned onto Wimpey Road, which is a dead end, in Whitfield County and then went onto a gravel road where he finally stopped, said Brunson.
“Police officers approached him and ordered him onto the ground and he complied,” Brunson said.
Officials said the chase lasted about a half hour. Fox was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer (two counts), driving while license withdrawn (two counts, second and third offenses), concealing vehicle identification (two counts), no insurance (two counts), reckless driving (two counts), driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to drive within a single lane and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. The only felony charge was criminal damage to property in the first degree.
“Mr. Fox is in a holding cell,” Maj. John Gibson with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday. “He may not have been drinking, but anytime someone is acting that erratically we’re going to keep a close eye on him.”
Fox will likely have an appearance before a magistrate judge this morning via video link, said Gibson.
“It’s my understanding Gordon County has outstanding charges on him also,” Gibson said. “He’ll have a hold put on him, and there will probably be no bond. But he will have to stand on his charges here first.”
A detective with the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday. Brunson said Pasley was not charged and was helped in getting home by officers.