It was a busy night for Savannah-Chatham police. It started when officers spotted a red Camaro at Louisville Road and West Boundary Street that matched the description of one involved in a Garden City bank robbery. When police tried to stop the driver, Christopher Stewart, for not wearing his seatbelt, he sped off.
Officers say he wasn't letting anything, including police cars, stand in his way. "He spun the car around in the road and rammed two of our police cars, but it didn't put them out of commission," Lt. Harold Ragan said. "They were able to continue the pursuit."
Police chased Stewart down I-516, where he lost a tire and spun out again, this time landing in a ditch and crashing into the fence at the Laidlaw bus company. The road race ended, but when Stewart took off into the woods, police knew they needed the help of Chip, a four-legged officer.
"We got the dog out, set up a perimeter and after about an hour and 15 minutes' worth of tracking through some of the thickest stuff in Chatham County, we found him laying in the bushes and effected the arrest," said Lt. Ragan.
Police led Stewart, covered with sweat, leaves and dirt, back to a squad car to let paramedics check out where their K-9 companion left his mark.
For Lt. Ragan, starting his 31st year on the job at midnight, it was an eventful anniversary. "If I had done this 30 years ago, I don't know if I'd feel quite the same, but I'm still with them. We got him."
Police say they found a large amount of cocaine and some marijuana in the suspect's possession. He's also facing charges of aggravated assault on two police officers, and more charges could still be pending.