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Chase Ends in Head-On Collision

Officer Bailey Deaton

Twenty-nine year old, Michael Land, Jr. has been charged with stealing a Newton County Sheriff’s Department patrol car and running head-on into a Newton Police Department patrol car during a chase in Newton County.

According to Sheriff Billy Rowles and City Police Chief Will Jackson, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, around 2:00 a.m., Deputy Cargill of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department was waved down by a man at Butterflies Convenient Store in Newton.  It began as a well check and quickly turned into a chase.  He immediately noticed that the man, who was the passenger, was not responding to him normally.  His female driver told Deputy Cargill something was definitely wrong.  To gain control of the situation, Cargill went to detain the passenger.  During contact a struggle ensued.  Quickly thereafter Deputy Cargill was assaulted by the man and the man tried to take Cargill’s weapon.  At this time, Officer Deaton of the Newton Police Department intervened and pulled the man off of Cargill.  Cargill used his taser with no effect.  At this time, the suspect jumped into the county patrol car and took off on a 12-mile chase down Highway 87 south.  Sergeant Lilly and Officer Deaton followed in a city police car and about 12 miles into the chase, the man made a U-turn and ran head-on into the police car driven by Sgt. Lilly.  According to Sheriff Rowles, the suspect then ran on foot into a wooded area and was captured and taken to Christus Jasper Memorial where he was checked out and then released to the Newton County Jail.  Officer Deaton was life-flighted to St. Elizabeth Hospital where he was treated for head injuries and released later that morning.  Sgt. Lilly was checked out on Wednesday for internal problems, but thankfully he was released with no further problems.

Chief Jackson said Land’s charges include: three counts of aggravated assault, a First Degree felony; evading with vehicle – 3rd Degree felony; attempt to take weapon from officer; unauthorized use of vehicle.  The bond was set at $340,000.  He was arraigned by Judge Mike Greer.

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