A 21-year-old Commerce man racked up kidnapping, motor vehicle theft and 10 lesser charges last Wednesday night (Oct. 22) before his mother talked him into ceasing a high-speed chase.
Police charged Richard J. Gonzalez, 21, 4122 Crossing Place, with kidnapping, motor vehicle theft, driving under the influence (DUI) of intoxicants, a tag light violation, failure to maintain a lane, fleeing and attempting to elude, reckless driving, disorderly conduct, obstruction of officers, running a red light, passing in a no-passing zone and driving with a suspended license.
The incident began when two Commerce officers investigated two “suspicious” vehicles parked in front of Video Warehouse at about 11:30 last Wednesday night, Oct. 22.
One officer attempted to pull over a pickup truck as it left the scene, but it accelerated at the intersection of North Elm Street and Jefferson Street and headed out Old Homer Road. The vehicle ran the light at U.S. 441 and went out Hwy. 59, the report said. Just after it crossed the line, the vehicle stopped, the passenger door opened and a white male jumped out, held his hands up and ran to the woods line.
The officer continued to pursue the vehicle, which went out Hwy. 59, turned left on Interstate 85 and got off at Banks Crossing, where it went into the parking lot of Krystal and stopped. Gonzalez was arrested without incident.
Banks County deputies picked up the man who had exited the vehicle, and the 30-year-old man told police that he’d had too much to drink at a Banks Crossing Restaurant and Gonzalez offered to drive him home. Details on why they were at Video Warehouse were unclear, but the man said when the chase started he yelled for Gonzalez to stop, but Gonzalez threatened to kill him.
Police learned that Gonzalez had called his mother during the chase, and she talked him into ending the chase.
Meanwhile, the second officer had pursued the other vehicle at Video Warehouse. Noting that it had an equipment violation, the officer pulled over Chewbacca C. Johnson, 29, of 7106 Cedar Hill Drive, Gainesville. He was charged with driving with a suspended license.