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Whitfield County, Ga., sheriff's deputies said a man crashed into a utility truck, a pickup truck, a concrete barrier and a sign before trying to run away.

According to an incident report, 31-year-old Justin Nathaniel Wheat attempted to escape from authorities after hitting a couple of vehicles. After the chase, which involved hitting a couple of stationary objects, investigators said they found multiple empty methadone pill bottles in Wheat's truck, a 2005 Nissan Titan.

The sheriff's office charged him with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, DUI, two counts of attempting to elude police officers and reckless driving. He remained in the Whitfield County Jail on Wednesday without a bond.

The sheriff's office gave this account in an incident report: On the afternoon of Jan. 17, two deputies learned that someone crashed into a utility truck and a Dodge truck. The driver was then accused of fleeing. But the deputies spotted the Nissan Titan on South Dixie Highway, headed toward Carbondale Road.

A deputy signaled for the driver to pull over. The driver, whom they later learned was Wheat, pulled into a Pilot Travel Center gas station. But he didn't stop. Instead, he sped through the parking lot.

The driver drove between gas pumps, hopped a curb and drove to another side of the gas station. The deputies continued to chase. At one point, Wheat lost control, and his truck spun in circles.

The deputies got out of their vehicles, but they said Wheat drove toward them.

"Deputy [Jeffery] Diak became nervous at this point due to the Pilot parking lot being heavily crowded with pedestrians and other vehicles," a member of the sheriff's office wrote in the report. "As Mr. Wheat drove past Deputy Diak and Deputy [Ron] Kirby, Deputy Diak noticed the truck's tires did not stop spinning as it began driving towards the gas pumps in the east side of the parking lot."

Wheat then crashed into a concrete barrier next to a gas pump, kept driving and then crashed into a sign. He got out, stumbling and tried to escape.

"Mr. Wheat staggered and almost fell to the ground as he began to run away from Deputy Kirby," the report reads. "Mr. Wheat regained his balance and started to increase the distance between himself and Deputy Kirby. Deputy Kirby approached Mr. Wheat and [shot him with a stun gun]."

After the arrest, according to the report, Wheat said: "It wasn't me. You have the wrong guy."

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or tjett@timesfreepress.com.

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