published Monday, May 16th, 2011

Ringgold man nabbed after car chase

A man who blew through a safety checkpoint in Rossville on Saturday night led Walker County deputies on a two-state chase and had to be stunned with a Taser and dragged from his pickup truck, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The report by Officer Corey Griffin said Jonathon L. Wheat, 46, of Ringgold, Ga., approached a traffic safety checkpoint in the 1400 block of Wilson Road near Rossville Elementary School about 10:30 p.m.

When asked for his driver’s license and proof of insurance, Wheat told police his window would not roll down and handed a Northwestern Tech student ID through the vent window of his Ford F-150 before flooring the gas pedal and speeding away, the report stated.

Authorities chased Wheat along several streets and into Chattanooga and East Ridge before he turned back into Walker County. At one point, his truck hit Griffin’s patrol car in the rear passenger door and fender, the report said. At that point, a woman jumped out of the rolling truck and ran away, the report said.

Officers finally got the truck stopped, but Wheat wouldn’t get out, the report said. Griffin used a Taser on him once and punched him in the side, then dragged him out of the truck. Once he was cuffed, he was checked by an emergency medical technician but refused treatment, the report said.

Officers found several empty 24-ounce beer cans in the truck, the report said.

Wheat’s driver’s license was already suspended in Georgia for a prior DUI charge, according to the report. He now faces charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, failure to maintain lane, fleeing to elude police, open container, reckless driving, seat belt violation and suspended license.

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