Suspect who sparked college lockdown found 20-feet up tree

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities arrested a teen who sparked a college lockdown in Newton County on Monday morning.

Parts of Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s campus in Newton County were locked down for hours while police searched for the car theft suspect.

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According to police, a person called 911 after they saw their pickup truck being stolen on video camera at the Wellington Ridge Apartments. While officers were responding, they saw a blue Mitsubishi Lancer speeding with someone hanging onto the hood of the car

The officers turned around and started following the car. The person on the hood then got into the car. Police said they then started to chase the car onto Highway 142, where Newton County authorities joined in on the chase.


The chase ended at a Bridgestone Tire on Highway 142, where the two people inside jumped out and rain, police said.

The Georgia State Patrol was in the area and a Trooper found one of the suspects behind a Hometown Suites on City Pond Road. The other suspect ran into a wooded area near Georgia Piedmont Technical College, which sparked a lockdown.

"We're glad Covington was able to get them and that everyone is safe now,” said Georgia Piedmont Technical College Dean Beverly Thomas.

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach was there as officers found the second suspect about 20-feet up a tree in the area.

"See that branch to the left there, sticking out? He was standing on that branch with his hands on the other branch above to the right,” said Covington Police Lt. Mike Tinsley.

But police thought the teen could be armed.

"With us walking in and him being in a tree, could have been a very dangerous situation as law enforcement,” Tinsley said.

Investigators said that they found several cars were broken into at Wellington Ridge apartments. The stolen pickup truck was recovered at the apartment complex.

The Mitsubishi was a stolen vehicle out of DeKalb County, investigators said.

The two suspects are 14-and 15-year-olds from DeKalb County. They are facing multiple charges.