Driver hops curbs, speeds through parking lots during lunchtime police chase

Channel 2 Action News has obtained video of wild police chase that started with a police officer pulling over a minivan with an expired tag.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has obtained video of police chase that started with a police officer pulling over a minivan with an expired tag.

The chase unfolded last Thursday in Forsyth County.

Forsyth County Sgt. Richard Thompson said during the 10-minute chase he was praying the whole time, hoping no one would get hurt.

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Body cam video shows a police officer ask the driver to see his license while standing outside a minivan in the parking lot of an auto parts store.

The dramatic chase started when the driver jumped back in the van and took off.

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After the passengers jumped out of the van, the driver sped down the street with both side doors open, Thompson in hot pursuit.

"He's seasoned, he knows what he's doing. He's part of our training unit and part of our SWAT team,"

Cpl. Doug Rainwater with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office told Channel 2's Dave Huddleston.

The chase happened right before the lunch hour.

Dash cam video of the chase shows streets filled with other vehicles as the van drives through red lights.

On Thursday May 2, 2019, a Forsyth County Sheriff's Office Sergeant made a traffic stop on a Mazda van for an expired tag. After a brief conversation the driver jumped back into the van, as the three other passengers jumped out, and began to flee. A pursuit ensued down Keith Bridge, through a Dunkin' Donuts Parking lot, and then down 369/ Browns Bridge towards Gainesville, before ultimately ending with the suspect crashing into a ditch at Bethel Rd. Driver, Jeremiah Reeves of Atlanta, was taken into custody and charged with: possession of a stolen vehicle possession of a firearm by a convicted felon possession of marijuana fleeing and attempting to elude obstruction no valid drivers license multiple traffic citations Front passenger, McKalley Emanuel, was arrested for an outstanding warrant. The two remaining passengers were given a courtesy ride back to the their work site. #FCSO #notinforsyth #youcanrunbutsocanwe #whereyagoin #notimefordonuts #caught

Posted by Forsyth County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, May 8, 2019

"Sgt. Thompson told me praying helped a lot, too, to get through that entire ordeal," Rainwater said.

With the van’s side doors still open, the chase went through a restaurant parking lot, and the driver then jumped a curb to get away.

"I've watched Sgt. Thompson work and he's going to stay on you until the final minute and the handcuffs go on," Rainwater said.

The chase ended when the driver tried to jump a culvert, but the front end of the van crashed, killing the engine.

That’s when the driver got out, put his hands up and surrendered.

Jeremiah Reeves has been charged with a number of crimes including possession of a stolen vehicle and numerous traffic violations.

Another passenger in the van was also wanted in Douglas County.