A 19 year old from Clarkston faces multiple charges after fleeing Monroe County deputies by going the wrong way on I-75 for a few harrowing moments on Tuesday morning. Sheriff Brad Freeman said the suspect was only stopped when a deputy slammed into his car to prevent his escape on Hwy. 42 at Greystone subdivision.
The chase started around 7 a.m. when Monroe County deputy Sgt. Kevin Williams tried to stop a blue Mustang for weaving on I-75 north. But the driver, later identified as Ali Khaleel of Clarkston, slammed on brakes did a U turn north of Johnstonville Road, and began heading south in the northbound interstate lanes. Deputies didn’t continue their pursuit in wrong-way traffic, said Freeman.
“We don’t do crazy things,” said the sheriff.
But the 911 center kept getting calls about the suspect going the wrong way as the suspect got off at Johnstonville Road. School resource officer Sgt. Ken Blandenburg met the suspect on Hwy. 42 with no lights on in the fog and gave chase to the north. Khaleel fled all the way to the Greystone subdivision at the Butts County line where a citizen reported seeing him.
Monroe deputies sped to the scene and Williams tried to block him inside the subidivion. But Khaleel sped at Williams’ patrol car, barely missing him, and raced toward the subdivision entrance where Blandenberg was stationed to prevent the suspect from rejoining traffic with school buses and school traffic on the road. The suspect tried to ram two more sheriff’s cars before ramming into Blandenberg whose patrol car was blocking the exit. Khaleel was quickly arrested and was crying saying he fled because he was scared of law enforcement.
“He ain’t a fine fella,” said Freeman. “He would’ve gotten away if [Blandenberg] hadn’t hit him. He had shown he could care less about your life or his.”
Blandenberg was checked out at the hospital for arm pain from the impact. Khaleel’s car and Blandenberg’s patrol car were thought to be total losses. A Macon woman also reported Khaleel almost struck her on I-75 before swerving at the last second.
Khaleel is charged with fleeing, five counts of aggravated assault on an officer, aggravated assault, no headlights, driving on wrong side of the road, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, aggressive driving, driving in the emergency lane, failure to signal, speeding in excess of 100 mph in a 70 mph zone and driver not exercising due care.
“Hopefully he’ll be here [in jail] for a while,” said Freeman. “He’ll get to enjoy some our great food.”