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Suspect in custody after police chase ends near Hwy 80, Pooler Parkway

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:35 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - A suspect is in custody after a police chase ended near Highway 80 and Pooler Parkway on Monday, according to the Pooler Police Department.

Law enforcement was searching a wooded area near Pooler Seafood and Advanced Auto along Highway 80 before noon. A helicopter and K9 units were deployed in the area.

According to Pooler police and fire, the driver of the stolen truck left behind a wake of damage, which included multiple cars parked and in traffic being side-swiped. Damage to several police vehicles was also being documented by detectives after the man was in custody.

Police say a Pooler officer spotted the stolen truck initially, and tried to make a stop, when the suspect took off.

Christopher Brian Etheridge
Christopher Brian Etheridge(Chatham County Jail)

“We’ve got multiple vehicles that have been struck, we’re still trying to track down. We’ve got one with minor injuries that was transported to Memorial,” said Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons.

The suspect has been identified as Christopher Brian Etheridge. He is charged with fleeing from police, aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, theft, and other traffic related charges.

We do know after talking with Pooler’s police chief that Etheridge did have outstanding warrants for his arrest out of state, and at least one in Georgia - out of Wayne County. No word on what he was wanted for just yet.

The chief also says the truck was not stolen from the Pooler area.

Altogether, there were at least a half-dozen police agencies involved in the pursuit and search for the suspect, and an assist by Pooler Fire.

The Pooler Police chief, the lead agency in this investigation, says the cooperation and help given by surrounding departments ultimately helped contribute to the arrest.

“Pooler, as far as the law enforcement community around here is concerned, Pooler has very good neighbors. And we didn’t hardly have to ask for help, they heard it going on, they came to help us. And that’s kind of out motto out here, we want to be good neighbors to these other law enforcement agencies, and they’re certainly being good neighbors to us,” Pooler Police Chief Ashley Brown said.

It was terrifying for one woman and her baby. Her near run-in with the man police were chasing was a scary moment, and one she says could’ve been much worse.

“We were sitting at a red light. And when, next thing I know, I look at my rear view mirror and a dude was about this close to me. And he snatched his wheel to miss me, so he did not hit me,” said Shayla Hollingsworth.

Shayla Hollingsworth says she was at the light at Cherry Street and Highway 80 in Bloomingdale when she, another passenger and her young child in the back seat almost became collateral damage to the chase Monday morning.

“I do have a 1-month-old baby in the back seat.”

She says moments after the narrow miss, she says she pulled into the parking lot of this store to get out of harms way.

“And then about five minutes later, all the cops came swarming in here. And then they’re all running towards the woods, getting out the car, getting the K-9s out of the car, going towards the wood line.”

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