A car chase in Valdosta late Thursday afternoon has landed 35 year-old Ernest Pete, wanted gang leader of the local Gangster Disciples gang, behind bars.
"Our investigators were aware that there were warrants for Mr. Pete and they were actively seeking him to arrest him for those warrants. They happened upon him yesterday and that's what initiated the initial traffic stop," said Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Stryde Jones.
It all began on Ann Street. That's when sheriff's deputies spotted Pete's car and attempted to pull him over. But Pete wasn't going to let it end there. Pete refused to pull over, so deputies followed him to the 700 block of Park Avenue. That's when he pulled into an apartment complex, got out of his car and pointed a gun at the deputies before running away.
"Obviously, that's one of the things we train for on a regular basis, is dealing with armed persons. The deputies did a great job in this instance, knowing they were dealing with somebody, obviously, once he jumped out with a firearm, and resolving this without anybody being injured," Jones commented.
Now, investigators are trying to determine if Pete was more than just a local gang leader.
"What we're lookin' into now is his connections on a regional and, potentially, national level as well," said Jones. "We do know he has ties to Fulton County 'cause he has warrants existing from there right now."
Pete is currently charged with violating the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism Act, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and a handful of other charges.