The offender who was involved in Tuesday afternoon’s chase from Sparks into Tifton has racked up several charges to add on to his felony warrants out of Florida.
According to Chief Bob Myers with the Sparks Police Department, Timothy Lee Strawter, 27, of Sanford, Fla. fled from law enforcement because he had felony firearm and drug warrants out of Orange County, Fla.
Strawter, along with passengers Bruce Hipsher, 25, also of Sanford, Fla. and Shaneka Brown, 25, of Orlando, Fla., was driving a 2014 Cadillac SUV rental as he sped past an officer with the Sparks Police Department on Interstate 75. The Cadillac was traveling more than 100 mph during the chase that followed.
As Strawter made his way into Tifton, at the intersection of Union Road and Oakridge Church Road, stop sticks were deployed by a Georgia State Patrol trooper with the Tifton post. SFC Brian Gay, Tifton’s GSP post commander, commended his trooper for doing exactly what he was trained to do — to stop the pursuit before it entered the city.
He told The Tifton Gazette Wednesday the vehicle swerved in order to avoid the stop sticks, losing control and overturning. Hipsher and Brown were ejected. Brown, who received a neck injury, was transported to Tift Regional Medical Center. Hipsher, who received an injury to his spine, was airlifted to a Macon hospital.
Myers said Hipsher remains in critical condition, and he believes Brown was released from the hospital Thursday. He noted Strawter only received minor abrasions. He said Strawter attempted to flee from law enforcement on foot after the crash. As the SUV rested on its side, Strawter climbed out of the sunroof and ran into the woods. Myers said he got out of his vehicle and ran into the woods after Strawter and was able to capture him.
He said Strawter remains housed in the Cook County Jail and is being charged by the SPD with driving with a suspended license, felony eluding, too fast for conditions, speeding, failure to maintain lane, failure to stop at stop sign and reckless driving. Gay said charges against Strawter related to the crash in Tifton are still pending.
Myers said Strawter will be extradited when they’re done with local charges. He will then be sent back to Florida.
“He will have his first appearance today (Thursday) in Cook County,” Myers said, adding that they will decide what to do from there. He also noted that Hipsher has drug charges out of Florida but will not receive local charges. Brown didn’t have any warrants on her and will also not receive any local charges.
Myers said he would like to personally thank GSP and the Tift County Sheriff’s Office, as well as other emergency personnel, for assisting them with the chase and crash.
“If it had not been for GSP, he (Strawter) would have gotten away,” he said.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.