published Friday, August 13th, 2010

Driver faces terrorism charges

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    Contributed photo She was arrested for ramming her car into Gordon county jail yesterday. She faces charges of Terroristic Threats and Acts, Interference with Government Property, and Criminal Damage to Property in the 2nd Degree.

A woman who attempted to ram her car into the side of the Gordon County Jail was taken to the hospital and faces charges including making terrorist threats.

Police say they still are investigating what provoked 24-year-old Johana Cortes to try to ram her Toyota Corolla into one of the entrances of the sheriff’s office on Thursday morning.

Cortes, who is from California, missed the door and ended up crashing into the law enforcement memorial in front of the entrance, said John Bankhead, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman.

While the memorial, which cost more than $5,000, was destroyed, it prevented the car from going into the jail lobby, said Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston in a news release.

Cortes faces charges of terroristic threats and acts, interference with government property and criminal damage to property in the second degree, Bankhead said in a news release.

After Cortes was questioned Thursday morning, Gordon County sheriff’s deputies believed an explosive device might be inside her car and the GBI bomb squad was called to the scene, Bankhead said.

The jail was put on lockdown and many employees were evacuated from the building until the scene was cleared of any threat, Ralston said. Inmates were not evacuated from the building, he said.

GBI agents didn’t find any bomb in the car and is leading the continuing investigation, Bankhead said.

Cortes is being treated in a Gordon County hospital for injuries that are not life-threatening and is under guard. Her local residence has not been determined yet, he said.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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chioK_V said...

Is it possible that something happened at the hands of this Sheriff department to drive this woman into such a rage? Some abuse at the hands of LE that drove her over the edge?

August 13, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.
FM_33 said...

Ms. Laden wanna be !

August 13, 2010 at 4:28 p.m.
Wilder said...

"Is it possible that something happened at the hands of this Sheriff department to drive this woman into such a rage? Some abuse at the hands of LE that drove her over the edge?"

They may have done something really horrible, like ask to see her ID.

August 13, 2010 at 8:13 p.m.
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