Police and members of the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit carry one of three suspects arrested in connection with an incident at a Lee County store Monday morning to a patrol car.
ALBANY, Ga. -- A man who was already wanted for violating probation by shoplifting led police on a brief chase Monday morning before his vehicle struck a train.
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Major Bill Berry, head of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, said Monday that Nathaniel Johnson, who is also known as Nathaniel Smith, faces a plethora of charges that include fleeing or attempting to elude police and obstruction of police.
Johnson bailed out of the maroon van that Berry says he was driving after an ADDU agent and a Dougherty County Police H.E.A.T. car attempted to pull him over.
Berry said the van ran off the pavement and onto the railroad tracks before hitting a train.
Johnson has been taken to the Dougherty County Jail.
The Monday morning events started miles away at the Dollar General on Philema Road in Lee County, Berry said, when, according to a witness, the man and a woman, who was also in the van, stole items from the store and fled the area.
The witness called police and initially reported the incident as a robbery, which prompted the other agencies to get involved. The witness followed the vehicle as it came into Dougherty County.
"We looked at the (dash cam) video and you can see the witness driving behind the suspect vehicle and literally pointing at it as the marked unit came up the hill on Jefferson," Berry said.
The woman, who wasn't identified, was taken to Lee County for questioning about the shoplifting.
A third man, who was placed into custody at the scene, was later released. Berry said he was simply "at the wrong place at the wrong time."
In addition to a bag of Chex Mix that was believed stolen from the Dollar General, police also found a plastic container that had several wrapped shirts, socks and other items.
Chief Lewis Harris praised the witness who called in the incident.
"It's always nice to have the community get involved, and we always encourage people if they see something to call it in," Harris said. "If we can get them to call, it's a good thing."