When armed officers escorted Ronnie Justin Aaron Bowen out of a backyard on Hayes Street and toward a police cruiser, Bowen kept begging, “Please don’t kill me, please don’t kill me…”
Compared to the car chase Bowen led officers on through Madison, he was in safer hands when detained. Bowen faces a litany of charges, including reckless driving and obstruction after he fled from officers in a green Jeep Wrangler in a brief but violent high speed chase that wound its way from Hanover Street down Dixie, to Old Post and then west on Bostwick Highway.
According to Morgan County Sheriff’s Office reports, Bowen faces at least five failure to stop at stop sign charges. He also, according to Capt. Brandon Sellers, destroyed a pasture fence after he plowed through the barrier near Head Road in a failed attempt to outrun authorities.
The chase began, Sellers said, around 1:30 p.m. when officers arrived at the Hanover Street residence searching for Brandon Peters, a wanted fugitive out of Walton County who had recently cut off a tracking ankle bracelet and was wanted on a probation violation. Sellers said Peters, who has both narcotic and theft convictions, has made previous threats against law enforcement officers.
Three armed officers including city of Madison Police Department officers, approached the Hanover Street residence and observed the Jeep running. Sellers said an officer attempted to open the door because the tint was too dark to identify who was in the driver’s seat. The Jeep fled, driving behind the residence, over a gas grill and jumping a ditch.
Once on Bostwick Highway, the Jeep turned into a private driveway, ran through a barbed wire fence and continued approximately three-quarters of a mile through a pasture and to a wooded area behind Hayes Street. “He got to where the Jeep wouldn’t go anymore,” said Sellers.
Sellers said a perimeter was established around the wood line and officers with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Madison Police Department, Walton County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia State Patrol waited until a Georgia Department of Corrections officer with a blood hound arrived. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter also hovered over the wood patch searching for the suspect.
Sellers said Bowen, 39, of Eatonton, was found hiding under a leaf pile behind a Hayes Street residence. “The dog found a good track and we ended up behind a residence,” he said. Bowen was found and arrested in less than an hour after he fled authorities, Sellers said. “This was a good example of multi-jurisdictional cooperation.”
A search of the Jeep produced, Sellers said, a quantity of suspected methamphetamine and digital scales.
Bowen is charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of drug related items, felony fleeing or attempting to elude officers, criminal trespass, reckless driving, obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, six counts of failure to obey stop sign, two counts of improper passing and speeding.