Habersham Co. man in Hall Co. Jail faces 12 charges growing out of chase with deputies

“A Habersham County man was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 30, on a dozen criminal charges following a vehicle pursuit with Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies earlier this month.

On Aug. 6, a lookout was posted for an SUV traveling northbound on I-985 that was reported to be driving at erratic speeds and swerving across the roadway and into the median. An HCSO deputy located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop at the BP station near White Sulphur Road. The deputy began to question the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Russell Ray Hutchens, 52, of Cornelia. When Hutchens could not provide a driver’s license for the deputy, he was asked to exit his vehicle, but instead he sped away from the scene.

The deputy and a second deputy who had arrived at the scene began to follow Hutchens northbound on Ga. 365. The second deputy pulled in front of Hutchens’ vehicle in an attempt to slow him down, but Hutchens accelerated and steered into the path of the patrol vehicle, hitting the driver’s side door. At that point, Hutchens lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the woodline near Whitehall Road. He was ejected from his SUV and was transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries.

Warrants were issued for Hutchens’ arrest on the following charges:

·         Aggravated assault on a peace officer X 2 (these charges resulted from Hutchens smashing his vehicle into the patrol car, which was occupied by two HCSO deputies)

·         Speeding

·         Driving within a gore or media

·         Driving under the influence

·         No insurance

·         Driving while license suspended

·         Reckless driving

·         Driving with suspended registration

·         Fleeing or attempting to elude

·         No safety belt

·         Failure to maintain lane

The aggravated assault charges are felonies and the traffic charges are misdemeanors. Hutchens remains in the Hall County Jail.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: A sheriff’s office spokesman Friday did not have any information on why there was a nearly 30-day time lapse between the time of the incident and the day he was booked into the jail.)