Man charged with car highjacking; aggravated assault denied bond - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man charged with aggravated assault denied bond

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Nathaniel Johnson (Source: Chatham County Detention Center) Nathaniel Johnson (Source: Chatham County Detention Center)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A man accused of fleeing from police in connection with a car theft earlier this week made his first court appearance on Friday morning.

Nathaniel Johnson was denied bond. He's is charged with being party to the crime of murder, party to the crime of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Those are on top of his charges from Wednesday: possession of a firearm in commission of a crime; armed robbery; aggravated assault and hijacking a motor vehicle.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police said that at about 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, Anthony Parrish Jr. and Nathaniel Johnson stole a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu at gunpoint across town in the 800 block of West 33rd Street.

Parrish Jr. was charged Wednesday with the Feb. 24 death of Marray Martin.

Also on Wednesday, SCMPD Central Precinct Crime Suppression and TRAP Units were searching for Parrish in the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood.

Police spotted the stolen car and followed it to West 40th and Burroughs streets. Police said Parrish and Johnson got out of the car and ran in different directions.

An officer left his patrol car to confront Johnson as Parrish circled around a house, jumped into his police car and drove off, according to SCMPD. Parrish drove the SCMPD cruiser toward another officer who dove into his own patrol car to avoid getting hit.

Police chased the stolen cruiser east on 37th Street until Parrish turned into oncoming traffic and drove west onto the I-16 connector and the interstate.

Police put down tire spikes on I-16 to stop him. He ran off the road into the woods between the Interstate 516 and Chatham Parkway exits in order to avoid the tire spikes.

Parrish got out of the car and started shooting and officers fired back at him, according to SCMPD. Patrol officer Rebekah Gregory was shot in the leg and her finger was injured. Police said her cell phone deflected the bullet that struck her leg.

Parrish is also charged with hijacking a motor vehicle, armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, theft by taking, criminal attempt and criminal attempt at murder, possession of a firearm in committing a crime and fleeing to elude police officers.

On Wednesday night, police conducted an extensive search for Johnson in the area where the Chevrolet Malibu had been abandoned.

SCMPD, Canine, TRAP officers and U.S. Marshals from the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Johnson in Frazier Homes about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. He was hiding out in an apartment with a woman and her two small children, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Johnson is scheduled to be back in court at 2 p.m. March 19.

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