Chase ends with driver’s arrest in Houston

WARNER ROBINS — A Reynolds man is accused of leading a Houston County sheriff’s deputy on a five-mile chase late Wednesday before he was captured and arrested on drug and traffic charges.

Michael David Asbell, 41, was charged with possession of a “small amount” of methamphetamine, possession of the narcotic Loritab, fleeing and attempting to elude and several other traffic-related offenses, including driving on a suspended license, police said.

Houston County sheriff’s deputy Richard Mayhew was on patrol traveling south on Ga. 247 at 10:51 p.m. when the driver of a white 1989 Acura Integra in front of him was having trouble maintaining his lane of travel, the sheriff’s incident report said.

The deputy activated blue lights and attempted to pull over the driver, who initially slowed down, pulled over and stopped but then took off again, the report said.

A chase ensued with lights and sirens. The driver attempted to turn the car onto Piney Grove Road but went down into a ditch instead. The driver drove the car out of the ditch and back onto Ga. 247 headed south, turning west onto Ga. 127 with Mayhew in pursuit, according to the report.

The driver pulled into a private driveway, got out of the car and ran on foot. Mayhew pursued him on foot, grabbing his shirt as he was going over a fence.

But the driver was able to break away from the deputy and ran into the woods. Arriving deputy Slate Simons also ran after the driver and struggled with him in the woods, the report said. The driver was handcuffed and arrested by the two deputies.

The driver, identified as Asbell, had a small cut on his head from the struggle and was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia and treated before being taken to the Houston County jail, police said.

Houston County sheriff’s Capt. Robert West said the chase lasted about five miles and would not be considered a high-speed pursuit. However, the chase likely reached speeds at or slightly over posted speed limits, West said. Reckless driving and traveling too fast for conditions were among the traffic-related charges against him, the report said.

A passenger in the vehicle was not charged in the incident, police said. Asbell was being held Thursday in the Houston County jail.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.