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Decatur suspect chase scares East Lake residents

Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake

Decatur suspect chase scares East Lake residents

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Stacy Thomas Beard said she was walking along Fayetteville Road with her 4-year-old Monday evening to deliver birthday party invitations when two cars came barreling toward them.

Her son was riding on a scooter and she was pushing a toddler in a stroller. Fayetteville Road, like many Atlanta roads, has intermittent sidewalks running through neighborhoods. When she heard the cars coming, she pulled her son to the sidewalk.

“I’m screaming at my kids, ‘D not get off the sidewalk,'” she said.

Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross said the chase was the result of a resident of Chevelle Lane chasing after a suspicious vehicle after one of its occupants knocked on his door.

“At approximately 6:10 pm, we responded to a suspicious vehicle/person call on Chevelle Lane,” Ross said. “The complainant reported a grey sedan backed in her driveway and a male came to the door asking for an unknown person. She believes the same male came to her home several months ago and asked for a different unknown person. She then saw there were four other people in the car and yelled for her husband who followed the vehicle trying to get a tag number and updated location for officers. They left the city and the call was transferred to DeKalb.”

DeKalb Police have issued an alert, “about a dark grey Nissan Altima stolen from Dekalb County, tag BZJ 5055. Men from this vehicle have been going to doors in East Lake, Kirkwood and Decatur. They ran from police on a traffic stop. Occupied by four black males and one black female.”

Ross did not know if the alert was connected to the incident on Chevelle. She does not recommend that residents chase suspicious people. Police officers are unable to chase suspects in most cases.

“We recommend calling the police immediately in this situation and providing as much information as possible about the vehicle, persons and direction of travel without pursuing or following the vehicle and placing yourself and others in danger,” Ross said.

Beard said she could understand the desire of the husband to chase after the suspect.

“On the flip side I could see my husband doing the exact same thing, much to my chagrin,” she said.

When informed of the report, Beard said she wasn’t the only person on the street. Another neighbor was out walking their dog, she said.

“If all they did was knock on their door, call the police, but you don’t need to go chasing after them,” Beard said.