Details Released in Case of a Stolen Sheriff’s Deputy’s Car
Details are out on a Sheriff’s deputy car that was stolen earlier this month in Stephens County.
According to Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, on July 5, deputies were dispatched to a residence off of Julian-Westmoreland Drive in Martin in reference to domestic dispute.
Upon arrival deputies spoke with the complainant, Austin Levi Swift, 29 of Martin and Swift claimed that his girlfriend had left and was at a “drug dealers” residence. Deputies met Swift’s girlfriend at another location to check on her and were informed that she had been assaulted by Swift and was scared to be around him. Shirley said there were visible injuries on the female consistent with domestic assault.
Based on that information, deputies returned to the scene of the assault to arrest Swift for simple battery under the family Violence Act.
While escorting Swift back to the patrol vehicle, the suspect pulled away from deputies and fled on foot. Deputies caught up to Swift and managed to regain control and he was again escorted to a waiting patrol unit where he was secured in the backseat.
During the foot pursuit of Swift, one of the deputies missed his body camera and while he was retrieving it, Swift managed to bring his hands to the front of his body while in handcuffs, kick the locked sliding Plexiglas window in the cruiser and force it open, at which time he climbed into the driver’s seat of the patrol car and fled the scene.
Shirley said while in pursuit, deputies saw Swift turn onto Freeman Road, and once they turned onto Freeman, deputies ran up on the stolen patrol vehicle off Freeman Road in Martin. Swift had lost control of the patrol car while attempting to negotiate a curve and left the roadway. The vehicle was found to have sustained heavy damage from striking a tree at a high rate of speed and Swift had fled the scene on foot.
Oconee County South Carolina and Habersham county Sheriff’s Offices were contacted for assistance with Tracking Dogs but they were unable to get a clear track or direction of travel for Swift.
The search for Swift carried on through the day on July 6 and around 12, deputies received a call that Swift was in the area of Oil Mill Road in Martin.
Swift was taken into custody without further incident. He was immediately transported to Stephens County Hospital to be checked and then transferred to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with possible back injuries.
When Swift is eventually released from the hospital he will be immediately transported to the Stephens County Jail where he will face charges of Escape, Felony Theft by Taking Motor Vehicle, DUI, Interference with Government Property, Felony obstruction of an Officer and other traffic offenses along with the original offense of Simple Battery FVA.