SMYRNA. Ga. - Exclusive police dashcam video from Smyrna police shows a dangerous high-speed chase on South Cobb Drive that ended with a crash and the driver jumping out of his truck.
Police said the truck was left in drive with nobody behind the wheel. With the suspect on the run, officers had no other choice but to split up.
The chase started last Friday with officers pursuing an accused shoplifter in a white pickup truck. Speeds reached 75 miles per hour.
"His driving manifestations became egregious. It was very reckless in nature," Sgt. Louis Defense, with the Smyrna Police Department, said.
As the truck approached the east-west connector, it ran a red light, causing a crash at the busy intersection.
The driver, who police said is Carl Stroud, kept on going. He jumped out and tried to run away.
"He jumped out of the vehicle while the vehicle was still in drive," Defense said.
With nobody behind the wheel, the truck went onto the median, crossed over onto the sidewalk and mowed down some bushes outside of an apartment complex.
"Our officer was alert enough to continue to follow the vehicle, and to try to get other people out of the roadway," Defense said.
The truck rolled downhill, nearly hitting cars headed the other direction and crashed into a gate next to a storage facility, roughly a quarter mile from where Stroud ditched the truck and ran into the woods.
"Our units did pursue him on foot. They were actually able to take him into custody with a slight struggle," Defense said.
Police said Stroud allegedly stole beer, steaks and hot dogs from Kroger. He was long gone by the time police arrived at the grocery store.
The man's distinct clothing gave officers a chance to find him. Stroud was wearing a Freddy Freeman jersey and a Braves baseball hat.
Channel 2's Chris Jose asked police why they chased after Stroud over a shoplifting call.
"Had he continued his driving manifestations, he was certain to harm other motorists and/or pedestrians on the roadway," Defense said.
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