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May 5, 2014

Tifton man faces 30 charges after report of hit and run

TIFTON — A Tifton man faces 30 charges after a woman reported a hit and run incident to police.

According to an incident report filed at the Tifton Police Department, a 72-year-old woman reported Friday morning that a black Ford Mustang hit her vehicle at the intersection of GA 35 and GA 7, and then left the scene. She and a witness described the vehicle to officers, noting it had a green bumper. They also explained that a white male was driving the vehicle, and gave the tag number.

Officer Bryan Rhodes reported that the tag number came back to a Honda Civic when he ran it through dispatch. Also, dispatch advised the vehicle, including its tag, was the description that the Tift County Sheriff's Office had chased the night before. They said the vehicle was being driven by a white male by the name of Chalmus Lloyd Lashley, 31, of Tifton.

The report states that at 3:35 p.m., the TCSO advised they were in a foot chase with Lashley in the 800 block of East 14th Street. At 3:48 p.m., Rhodes was told that Lashley had been taken into custody and was being taken to the Tift County Jail. He said at that time, he went to the jail and charged Lashley with leaving the scene of an accident. Lashley was also charged with several other traffic offenses dealing with the hit and run.

His additional charges included two counts of alteration of license plates, two counts of registration and license requirements, three counts of driving without insurance, three counts of driving with a suspended or revoked license, too fast for conditions, reckless driving, two counts of driving without a valid tag/license plate, two counts of improper use of central turn lane, three counts of failure to obey traffic control device, three counts of improper lane change, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, a probation violation, improper stopping/slowing in the lane of traffic, removing or affixing license plate with the intent to conceal, two counts of willful obstruction of law enforcement officers and knowingly driving a motor vehicle on suspended, canceled or revoked registration.

Rhodes reported that the Ford Mustang was not registered with the state, and the vin number didn't come back on file. He said he was unable to get any other information on the vehicle, except that it was not registered, didn't have a plate assigned nor did it have valid insurance information.

In another matter, Officer Chance Howell reported April 26 that at approximately 1:09 a.m., while patrolling the area of South Central Avenue, he noticed a maroon vehicle cross over Central Avenue on Ninth Street, heading west. He noticed that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and had no headlights on.

Howell said moments after the vehicle crossed over Central Avenue, a Grab-A-Cab vehicle pulled up to Central Avenue, blowing its horn. He then followed the two vehicles down Ninth Street to Park Avenue, where the driver of the Grab-A-Cab vehicle said the Jeep was involved in a hit and run.

Howell said as he proceeded south on Park Avenue, he saw the Jeep slide sideways, making a right turn on Old Omega Road. The vehicle's tires were also squealing while turning. He was able to catch up to the vehicle on Old Omega Road near 17th Street. By that time, the driver had turned his headlights on.

Howell said he noticed the vehicle had a tail light out on the passenger side. He said the driver then turned onto 17th Street, and he activated his emergency lights. The driver then quickly turned onto Dorminey Street and stopped at 19th Street.

Howell made contact with the driver, Hunter Bryce Willis, 18, of Tifton, and the male passenger. He told Willis the reason for the stop and asked him about hitting another car in the Gin parking lot. He reported that Willis said he was sorry, but his gas pedal was stuck and he didn't hit another car.

Howell then spoke with the passenger who said Willis did back into a vehicle in the Gin parking lot. The driver of the Grab-A-Cab vehicle, that was hit in the parking lot, said the vehicle Willis was driving was the one that ran into her.

Howell reported that there was damage to the Jeep on the passenger side of the back bumper.

Willis was arrested and charged with reckless driving, driving without lights, leaving the scene of an accident, defective equipment and registration and license required.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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