MARIETTA, Ga. - It might have been just another traffic stop, except police said the driver took off, throwing off of the officers to the ground and taking another officer with him on a high-speed chase through Marietta on Thursday.
It started around 7:30 a.m. Thursday near Delk Road and Franklin Gateway. Investigators said Marietta Police Officer Brian Wallace stopped a car for a traffic violation. Officer Wallace said he smells marijuana coming from a white Ford Fusion and asked the driver to step outside. What the officer didn't know was in the car were three known gang members from Massachusetts.
The officer called for backup to help with searching the vehicle. Meanwhile, dash cam video of the incident shows Officer Wallace patting down the driver, later identified by police as Cory Moody. Just as Sergeant Brian Honea pulled up to the scene, the video shows Moody trying to get away.
"Our officer then started to wrestle with that individual to detain him. At some point, the driver of that suspect vehicle managed to get our officers arm behind him and pinned him against his own seat," said Officer Chuck McPhilamy, spokesperson for the Marietta Police Department.
Sgt. Honea tried to get Moody and Wallace out, but the passenger in the vehicle puts the car in drive, knocking the second officer down. As the vehicle picks up speed, Officer Wallace, who is still pinned, is fighting not to fall out of the car and into the traffic during the case as speeds, at one point, reach 71 miles per hour.
"Had he pulled his weapon and fired his weapon then what? Can we contain the vehicle? Can we control the vehicle? all of those things are happening in such a split section reaction," said Officer McPhilamy.
Officer Wallace at one point during the high-speed kidnapping was seen closing the driver door to keep from falling out into oncoming traffic. All the while the high-speed chase was happening, the officer was wresting the suspect inside the car. And because it was one of their own trapped inside, police said they never backed off from the chase.
Several jurisdictions was immediately notified about the incident and the Georgia State Patrol was asked to assist in the chase.
Eventually, the driver turned down a side street, probably not knowing the mud they would be in next. One suspect jumped out and took off running. He was caught moments later. The car itself got stuck, ending the frightening chase and finally freeing a most unharmed Officer Wallace.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Honea, who was knocked down into traffic along Delk Road at the start of the chase, was not injured and was able to make it out of the busy roadway safely.
Marietta Police said Moody and two other passengers, later identified by police as Eyzaiya Moody and Walter Gadson Jr., were booked into the Cobb County Jail. Investigators said two handguns were recovered after being thrown from the vehicle. Police said they have not finalized a list of charges as of Thursday afternoon, but said the trio faces a variety of charges including assault, obstruction, fleeing and eluding, kidnapping, felon in possession of a firearm and any number of traffic-related violations.