Valdosta Daily Times

April 26, 2014

Slow chase leads to arrest

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — A suspect led authorities on a chase before pulling a gun on deputies then being arrested on several charges including violation of Georgia’s street gang terrorism act.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, authorities spotted a suspect on East Ann Street and attempted to apprehend him during a traffic stop, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

He led law-enforcement officers on what they describe as a “slow speed vehicle chase” through Valdosta before the suspect stopped in the 700 block of East Park Avenue. There, “he exited the vehicle and brandished a firearm toward the deputies,” according to sheriff’s office reports. He “attempted to flee on foot but was quickly arrested which forced him to drop the handgun, a .25 caliber semi-automatic.”

Authorities arrested Ernest Eugene Pete Jr., 35, of Valdosta and charged him with battery, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated assault, violation of Georgia Street Gang Terrorism Act, obstruction of an officer, possession of firearm during the commission of a crime, various traffic violations, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities reportedly discovered marijuana during a search of the suspect.

The gang charge stems from reported leadership within the Gangster Disciples. Area authorities plan working with the United States Attorney’s Office in Macon seeking federal charges against Pete.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Special Operations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Southwest Georgia Gang Task Force are working this case. Pete was initially wanted on warrants from Lowndes and Fulton counties.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine asks that anyone with information on this case, or any other case to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, (229) 671-2950; or anonymous tips can be provided (229) 671-2985; or online www.lowndessheriff.com.