DULUTH, Ga. - Police have arrested a man accused of running down and injuring a Clayton County police officer last week.
Channel 2 Action News reporter Mark Winne said Thomas Paige was arrested just before 2 p.m. Wednesday in Duluth.
"Our fugitive squad found Mr. Paige at an apartment complex in Duluth, Georgia," Clayton County Police Sgt. Kevin Hughes said. Clayton police tracked Paige down with the help of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Gwinnett County police.
Investigators said solid police work and lots of surveillance led them to Paige, a military veteran who used his skill to evade authorities.
Paige is accused of hitting Clayton County Police Officer Michael Hooks with his pickup truck off Frontage Road and Dixie Highway last Wednesday. Police said Paige got stuck on the side of the road while trying to flee, and got out and ran. The passenger, Jabari Jackson, was taken into custody.
Channel 2's Ryan Young spoke with Clayton officers just minutes after Wednesday's arrest.
"On the 12th of December, (Paige) struck an officer while they were responding to a burglary call. He then wrecked his truck and fled on foot and we have been doing an extensive and diligent search for him ever since. So I'm very relieved," Hughes said.
Hughes said Paige's arrest helps heal some of the pain Clayton officers are suffering after the death of fellow officer Sean Callahan, who was shot and killed Monday while responding to a domestic dispute.
Authorities, meanwhile, said Hooks is expected to be OK.
Paige was staying with a friend, Nathan Adams, who is charged in connection with helping Paige, police said.
"If you're helping that person who committed that crime get away from us, we will try and find you", said Sergeant Kevin Hughes with Clayton County Police. "And that person and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
According to records, this wasn't the first time Paige tried to hit an officer. Police charged him with aggravated assault in July of last year. Sources said Paige tried to hit another officer with his car on that occasion before police caught up with him.
Young asked Paige if he had anything to say about the case.
He replied, "I apologize and I hope it (gets) better."
Paige later told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri that, "It was an accident."