Chase by Ga. officers ends in Bradley County; suspect apprehended
Sep 07, 2012 | 1703 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daniel Levi Coats
Daniel Levi Coats

Banner Staff Writer

Spike strips ended a chase from Georgia into Tennessee but the alleged car thief got away... at least for a short while Thursday morning.

Daniel Levi Coats, 24, was arrested by Bradley County deputies after he attempted to escape Georgia authorities, crashing the alleged stolen vehicle he was in, then eluding them on foot.

According to reports from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and Varnell Police Department, Coats, a Dalton resident, took a vehicle from a convenience store where the owner was inside paying for fuel.

Marlene Epps told Varnell officials she had left her adult daughter in the vehicle while she went into the store just before midnight Wednesday.

Her daughter exited the car.

Epps noticed Coats inside the store, exited and then Epps reportedly saw him take her Nissan Maxima.

Officers arrived on the scene and began collecting information.

According to their report, the victim then “noticed her vehicle exit” a nearby parking lot.

A Whitfield, Ga. county deputy nearby saw the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop.

The report indicated driver fled north, eventually traveling into Bradley County with deputies and Varnell officials in pursuit.

BCSO deputies deployed spike strips just south of Waterville Community School.

According to Bob Gault, media relations coordinator for BCSO, the driver of the car struck the strips which flattened the tires. Two Whitfield and the Varnell officers’ tires were also flattened.

Coats reportedly fled on foot after exiting the car and was taken into custody by BCSO deputy Mitchell Roe a few hours later.

Coats waived extradition to Georgia. Whitfield officials took him back to Georgia late Thursday evening, according to Gault.

Varnell Police Chief Lyle Grant said Coats is charged with theft by taking a vehicle. Whitfield County officials are expected to file evading charges, according to Grant.

- Tennessee Highway Patrol is in charge of a crash investigation where a man was ejected from his vehicle early this morning.

According to 911 reports, the victim was not identified in their report.

The crash occurred near Brook-Bryson Lane on Blue Springs Road and was reported at 12:30 a.m.

The driver had been ejected and the vehicle was on fire, according to the report.

Bradley County Emergency Medical Service requested LifeForce helicopter to land at the scene to transport the victim to Erlanger Medical Center.

Assisting at the scene were Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies and fire department officials.