The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 5, 2013

Officer crashes in chase; suspect charged

From staff reports

— The pursuit of a suspect by Athens Police Sunday culminated with the suspect crashing into a residence, a wrecked patrol car and an officer taken to the emergency room.

Shortly after 2 a.m., officers stopped Cortney Terrell Johnson, 36, of 108 Ash St., Athens, in his vehicle at Walmart. After learning there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest on a burglary charge, he took off across the parking lot.

A press release from Athens Police said he drove to Ash Street, where he drove through yards before hitting a residence. He exited his vehicle and took off on foot before behind apprehended and taken into custody.

Police Chief Floyd Johnson said the house did not sustain serious damage and no one was home at the time.

While responding to assist officers in pursuit, Officer Frankie Gonzalez was involved in a one-vehicle crash on U.S. 31 and U.S. 72. Johnson said the officer hit a patch of black ice on the bridge and lost control of his vehicle.

The vehicle sustained heavy damage, and Gonzalez was transported to the emergency room at Athens-Limestone Hospital where he was treated and released.

Cortney Johnson was charged with DUI, attempting to elude a police officer, driving while license revoked, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding and no insurance.

Johnson’s bond was set at $10,000, and he was still in the Limestone County Jail as of Monday afternoon.