Witness recounts police car theft, chase - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Witness recounts police car theft, chase

Rosalie Quinones Rosalie Quinones

As details emerged Thursday in the Interstate 16 chase and crash, WTOC spoke with a woman who watched it all begin.

Rosalie Quinones was parked in front of her home on West 42nd Street about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when she saw a silver Chevrolet Malibu pull up.

"I guess the stolen car stopped right here," Quinones remembered, pointing to a fire hydrant at the corner of West 42nd and Burroughs. "And the cops tried to block them off and the two guys ran out."

Quinones watched two officers jump out of their patrol cars and take off after the suspects. She jumped out of her own car to see what was going on. She says the suspects split up.

"One ran behind the abandoned building," she said. "The cops chased him. The other guy jumped in the cop car and he went flying. Six cars went after him... Flying and flying and flying. It was just zooming. I guess they were going 100 speed miles. I don't know. It was just crazy."

The chase zoomed right by Quinones. She had to jump out of the road to get out of the way. WTOC asked her if the police car's engine was running when it was stolen.

"Yes ma'am," she said. "It was running, and they drove it off."

While officers chased the stolen patrol car, dozens more police descended on the 42nd Street scene, looking for the second suspect. Their search centered on an abandoned across the street from Quinones' apartment.

"Cops ran through here," she said, pointing to an alleyway with a broken gate, "Broke that, took out the abandoned building, brought out the K9s, made the K9s sniff they car. And they started searching and searching for hours."

That search ended about 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning, according to U.S. Marshal Tommy Long. That's when the marshals' Fugitive Task Force and Savannah-Chatham officers arrested Nathaniel Johnson in Frazier homes. He was reportedly hiding out in an apartment with a woman and her two small children.

His alleged accomplice, Anthony Bernard Parrish Jr., was arrested on I-16 near Chatham Parkway after he allegedly crashed the stolen police car and fired a gun at Officer Rebecca Gregory, striking her hip. In a news conference Thursday, Metro Police Chief Willie Lovett said officers fired back, hitting Parrish several times. He suffered only soft flesh wounds and was treated at Memorial University Medical Center and released, as was Gregory.

Parrish and Johnson have been charged with hijacking a motor vehicle, aggravate assault and armed robbery. Parrish also has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and murder in the Feb. 24 shooting of

20-year-old Marray Martin at a house party on Florida Avenue. Johnson has been charged with being a party to the crime of murder in Martin's death.

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