A 27–year–old man attacked a Chatham County deputy, stole an ambulance and led dozens of police vehicles and a helicopter in a pursuit.
Melvin Williams III resisted arrest and was tased by Georgia state troopers who had boxed the ambulance in with their cars at Montgomery Street and Staley Avenue about 9 p.m. Williams was transported by another ambulance to be examined and then transferred to the Chatham County Detention Center.
Williams had been taken to St. Joseph Hospital after police and emergency medical technicians had been called to his residence. He was awaiting transport to Georgia Regional Hospital and was being guarded by the off–duty deputy about 7:23 p.m. when they stepped outside to allow him to smoke a cigarette.
As they started to re–enter the hospital, Williams struggled with the deputy and attempted to remove a gun from his holster. Then Williams climbed into an unlocked Southside Fire EMS ambulance and drove away.
Officers attempted to stop the ambulance, but backed away when it became apparent Williams had no intention of stopping. Instead, undercover officers in unmarked cars followed the ambulance through the city and into Garden City and Port Wentworth before it returned to Savannah.
Several attempts to stop the ambulance using spiked sticks failed and Williams, driving with three flattened tires, struck several cars.
Police opted to stop the ambulance by surrounding and blocking it at Montgomery and Staley to prevent it from entering the Derenne Avenue area where traffic was high and injuries could occur. By that time it was being accompanied by dozens of police cars and a helicopter that were following it and diverting traffic out of its path.
• An elderly Savannah woman reported a man knocked on her door with a badge and asked her questions. She realized after he left that she did not know what department he represented and couldn’t the badge.
Camden County authorities also reported instances of a man in uniform without a badge in an unmarked car attempting to stop vehicles.
In none of these cases was any crime committed but police remind residents that they have a right to inspect an officer’s badge, ask for a supervisor to be called, or ask for time to call police to confirm the identity of anyone attempting to question them as a law enforcement officer.
Local police protocol also requires that only marked police units are allowed to stop cars for traffic offenses unless a dangerous situation exists.
• Police are asking the public’s help in locating a man believed to have information in the huge kidnapping/robbery event that tied up almost all of downtown and parts of the Westside May 17.
Nicholas Ryan Fields, 33, who formerly lived on Kelly Road in Pooler, is believed to have information about the event that led to two arrests after two SWAT operations.
Kevin Dale Brooks, 26, was charged with several counts after he was removed from The Pink House restaurant. Brian Jones, 23, was charged on other counts.
Fields was an acquaintance of one of the suspects. He has since moved from Savannah. Police suspect he may be living near Charleston.
Anyone in contact with Fields is requested to ask him to call Det. Jonathan Puhala at (912) 651–6728.
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