May 15, 2009
A man who Columbus police say has eluded them for a month is now behind bars.
On April 14, CPD Officer Copey Grantham was involved in a high speed chase with an individual that spanned much of north Columbus. After attempting to stop the man for running a stop sign on 18th Street North, the driver of the car fled and led Grantham down a dead-end street. The suspect then turned his car around and drove straight toward the officer. Grantham was forced to swerve off the side of the road to avoid being struck. The driver of the car stopped his vehicle near 249 Byrnes Circle, ran into a wooded area and escaped.
Police now believe they have the suspect in custody after the same officer said he had a similar run-in with the same individual Wednesday morning. At about 4:20 a.m. Wednesday, Grantham saw a black Nissan run a stop sign. Again, he attempted to pull the vehicle over when the driver of the car fled. Grantham said he immediately heard a loud noise, and upon investigating, discovered the car had hit a tree.
Grantham approached the car in an attempt to aid the individual who was trying to get out the passenger side door; the driver immediately began kicking and punching Grantham when he approached and continued to resist arrest until Grantham used his Taser.
The driver, Russell Sparks, 37, of 614 Pine St. in Columbus, was identified by Grantham as the same man who ran from him a month before.
Sparks has been charged with one count felony assault on a law enforcement officer, one count misdemeanor simple assault on a police officer, one count misdemeanor failure to obey a police officer, one count misdemeanor reckless driving, and one count misdemeanor DUI. No bond has been set. His initial appearance was expected to take place Thursday.
The Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office is also reporting the following felony arrests: