Police arrest driver accused of running over officer during traffic stop
STATHAM, Ga. - A woman accused of running over and dragging a Statham police officer by her car on a Barrow County street has been arrested.
Authorities announced the arrest of Jessica Fox, 28, Tuesday morning. She had been on the run for several days, according to police.
Dash cam video, obtained exclusively by FOX 5 News on Monday, shows Statham Police Officer Marc Lofton trying to make a stop on Dooley Town Road Saturday afternoon. Lofton said he clocked the car at nearly 15 miles an hour over the posted speed limit.
"What took you so long to stop? You kept going and going and going," Officer Lofton said in the video to the driver.
After the initial stop, Lofton said he recognized Fox, who was wanted for probation violation and outstanding warrants for drug offenses.
"I asked her to get out of the car because she was making me super nervous reaching all over the vehicle. I had her go to the rear of vehicle, asked her what her name was, and she gave me a false name," Officer Lofton told FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell after he left the hospital Monday afternoon.
The name heard on the dash cam video was Jessica LaBlanc. Moments later, Lofton said he tried to place Fox under arrest.
"[I] tried to put her in handcuffs; she pulled away from me and got back in the vehicle. I pulled out my Taser at that point of time. She was sitting in the driver's seat and I told her multiple times, 'I have a Taser. Please get out of the car,' and that she was under arrest," said Lofton. "After multiple commands, I deployed the Taser."
The dash cam video shows a chaotic scene, which led to the officer being run over by the same vehicle he stopped.
"Radio! Been ran over! On Dooley Town Road! Jessica Fox!" is what Officer Lofton was able to get out immediately following the encounter.
Statham Police Chief Allan Johnston has reviewed the video. He stands by his officer's actions.
"I think he reacted appropriately with restraint," Johnston said.
Chief Johnston said he is glad his officer is okay.
"When you are making a traffic stop, you know what you are stopping them for but the people inside may think they are being stopped because they are wanted or they just robbed a store or something else. You are at a vulnerable point to walk up to a vehicle, not knowing what has gone on prior to you stopping them. You always have to be on guard," Johnston added.
Authorities later recovered Fox's car about three miles from that traffic stop.