A Fayetteville man is facing multiple traffic charges after leading Fayette County deputies on a chase through Fayetteville with three young children in the vehicle.
Gabriel Z. Lanier, 19, of Devilla Trace, was charged with felony fleeing and attempting to elude, three counts of felony cruelty to children, driving while unlicensed, two counts of failure to maintain lane, speeding, stop sign violation, driving on the wrong side of the road and obedience to a traffic device, according to Fayette County Jail records.
The April 10 incident began at approximately 2:15 a.m. on Ga. Highway 279 when a deputy smelled marijuana smoke coming from a Honda Accord that soon crossed the solid white line. The deputy activated his lights to initiate the traffic stop but the vehicle turned onto Ga. Highway 85 heading south, according to incident reports.
The vehicle driven by Lanier turned left onto Corinth Road. By that time other deputies were involved in the pursuit.
Lanier was driving 56 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone and “stop sticks” were successfully deployed near Fayette Brook Way, reports said. But that did not stop Lanier, who continued at a slower pace and turned right onto Simpson Road. The vehicle continued, sometimes traveling on the wrong side of the road and failing to stop at a stop sign, reports said.
Lanier later turned onto Ga. Highway 54 East as another deputy approached and pulled in front of Lanier’s vehicle, while a second deputy in pursuit pulled behind the Honda, essentially boxing it in, according to reports.
Once stopped, Lanier put the Honda in reverse, pushing the patrol car behind him as the deputy was exiting his vehicle. The deputy in front applied more pressure causing Lanier’s vehicle to be held in place, reports said.
Once immobilized, Lanier was removed from the vehicle and handcuffed.
Deputies found three children, ages 8, 9 and two months, in the back seat visibly frightened and crying uncontrollably. The mother of the children was summoned to the scene and took custody of the kids, said reports.
A passenger in the front seat was released without charges, reports said.