A traffic stop in Georgia turned into a perilous ride for one police officer when a vehicle took off onto the highway with him still clinging to the side of it. Dashcam footage shows the frightening ordeal.
Dunwoody Police officer Nathan Daley can be seen speaking to the driver of a vehicle pulled over at the side of the road when the driver goes to put his car in gear. Daley reaches in through the window to try and stop the driver from fleeing.
That’s when the driver steps on the gas and the vehicle zooms away from the curb with Daley still dangling half out of the window.
Daley curls his feet up as the asphalt races below him. His partner, who was standing on the other side of the vehicle when it drove off, sprints to the police cruiser. “He’s taking off on us,” the officer yells.
The vehicle barrels past parked cars on the entrance ramp to the Interstate 285, at one point ramming Daley’s body into another vehicle as they squeeze by. Through it all, Daley clings on.
Then the car swerves left onto the busy highway. It skids into a white van, smashing Daley against it and finally knocking him to the pavement. Daley tumbles down in front of the van as the vehicle speeds away into traffic.
Daley, miraculously, did not sustain serious injuries.
“It’s a blessing that he was not more seriously injured,” said Dunwoody Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Robert Parsons. “He could’ve easily been killed by being smushed in between the car, being run over by another car.”
Daley posted a video to social media on Friday in which he is smiling widely despite several red cuts on his face.
“It doesn’t—well it does look as bad as it feels,” he said. “But you know me, I will bounce back ten times stronger.”
Daley thanked the public for their support and said he accepted donations in the form of “sweets, cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes with sprinkles, vanilla or red velvet.”
The whole incident started because of a cell phone, according to Sgt. Parsons.
Parsons said in a statement on the department’s Facebook page that a silver Chevrolet Malibu was pulled over on Aug 1, shortly after 11:30 a.m., because officers noticed that the driver was using a hand-held device. It’s illegal in Georgia to hold one’s phone while driving.
After Daley was knocked down, police continued pursuing the Chevrolet as it weaved through traffic. Parsons said it was eventually involved in a multi-vehicle collision farther down the highway. The driver pulled to the side of the road and attempted to flee on foot into the woods. Officers chased him and caught him.
The driver has since been identified as 35-year-old Derric Alexander Simpson. He is facing 10 charges including aggravated assault on a police officer and trafficking ecstasy.
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