Suspect facing 13 charges after fleeing traffic stop, colliding with oncoming vehicle

Martiel Leeks (Source: CCSO)
Martiel Leeks (Source: CCSO)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department is investigating a wreck at East 38th and Habersham streets after a suspect reportedly fled a traffic stop, Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, officers made a traffic stop at East 37th and Abercorn Street. An officer thought he smelled narcotics and the suspect fled the scene. The small silver sedan actually wrecked first at the intersection of 38th and Abercorn, but that didn't slow him down.

What began as, 'license and registration please,' turned into a man on the run. When cops smelled drugs coming from the car of 37-year-old Martiel Sharmel Leeks, it wasn't long before he made a break for it. Leeks fled from the traffic stop on 37th and Abercorn and finally collided with an oncoming vehicle at the intersection of 38th and Habersham, bringing his escape to a dead end. Investigators found enough ecstasy and marijuana in the vehicle to convince them he was dealing.

"It's very scary because it's the second time in six months," said Jyoti Patel, Hari's Corner, Owner.

On St. Patrick's Day, the other owner of the gas station's car was also battered by a crash at the same intersection.

"This time, it was my car," Patel said.

People who walk the neighborhood daily say it's not the area; it's selfish drivers behind the wheel.

"I usually don't listen to music or anything, even if I'm pretending to, just so I can be aware of my surroundings," said nearby resident, Alyce Strozzo.

Aware of the danger, but also aware of those who don't think before they act.

"Clearly, he wasn't thinking at all because that was a stupid decision. Now, he's going to be in twice the amount of trouble," Strozzo said.

Enough trouble to face 13 charges including a hit and run.

Two people were transported to the hospital for minor injuries. An officer was also treated for minor cuts sustained during the arrest.

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