Convicted felon flees BPS, gets arrested on traffic, drug and gun charges

Convicted felon flees BPS, gets arrested on traffic, drug and gun charges
Rodriquez Cheatem (Source: Bainbridge Public Safety)

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WALB) - A man was arrested after he sped away from a traffic stop, crashed his vehicle and then ran from officers Wednesday, according to a Bainbridge Public Safety (BPS) press release.

BPS said Rodriquez Deontae Cheatem, 26, who police said is a convicted felon, is facing 11 charges after the incident Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, an officer stopped a white SUV after it ran a stop sign at the intersection of Sims and Pine streets.

The officer was calling in the vehicle’s information when the driver pulled away, BPS reported.

As the officer followed the vehicle, BPS said he saw the vehicle gain speed on Sims Street as it headed towards Shotwell Street. The driver ran through a red light at the Sims and Shotwell intersection and crashed with another vehicle driving down Shotwell, according to police.

Wreck following chase in Bainbridge after traffic stop.
Wreck following chase in Bainbridge after traffic stop. (Source: Bainbridge Public Safety)

BPS said that the white SUV went airborne and came to a stop in the grass in front of Five Star Credit Union.

The officer reported that a man with a backpack then jumped out of the passenger side of the white SUV and began running north on Sims Street. BPS said the officer chased the suspect around the side of an apartment building and was able to apprehend him.

The suspect was then identified to be Cheatem and another officer arrived to assist with taking Cheatem into custody, BPS reported.

The officers took Cheatem to the emergency room of Memorial Hospital while the other driver involved in the crash was taken to the same hospital by EMS so they could be treated for their injuries caused by the wreck.

The press release states that Investigator Mark Esquivel arrived and collected evidence from the scene including a backpack containing a loaded semi-automatic pistol, several large bags containing marijuana, $3,425 cash, and a “large quantity of small baggies commonly used for packaging marijuana."

BPS officers with seized items.
BPS officers with seized items. (Source: Bainbridge Public Safety)

Once Cheatem was released from the hospital, BPS said he was taken to the station’s headquarters and was charged with the following:

  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (felony)
  • Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime (felony)
  • Possession, sale, manufacture, distribution of marijuana (felony)
  • Possession, sale, manufacture, distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a park or housing unit (felony)
  • Failure to stop/fleeing/eluding (felony)
  • Aggressive driving (misdemeanor)
  • DUI (misdemeanor)
  • No proof of insurance (misdemeanor)
  • Two counts of failure to obey stop sign (misdemeanor)
  • Seatbelt violation (misdemeanor)

“A minor traffic infraction led to the apprehension of Cheatem, a career criminal who was found to be in possession of drugs and a loaded firearm. This could have led to a very dangerous situation. Officer Trent Olhausen and Officer Kyle Wilford did a fantastic job of apprehending Cheatem and preventing him from hurting anyone else,” said Esquivel. “Public Safety officers hope that the innocent female driver who was injured in the accident has a swift and complete recovery from her injuries.”

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