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Cops: Drunken Man Flees DUI Sentencing, Drives Drunk Again

A Georgia man made a poor choice during his DUI sentencing, police say.

A Decatur man has been arrested after allegedly showing up for court drunk and fleeing from the courthouse. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV
A Decatur man has been arrested after allegedly showing up for court drunk and fleeing from the courthouse. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV
By Deb Belt

Decatur, Georgia – A man showed up for his DUI sentencing in Fulton County drunk, police say, then fled the courtroom and led officers on a chase while driving while intoxicated.

James Earl Johnson, 44, had just been sentenced to 60 days in jail for failing to pay fines for a DUI conviction when he fled the courtroom, hopped in his truck and was pursued by police, reports WSB TV.

Officers caught up with Johnson in the parking lot of an office park off New Boyd Road in Suwanee. Police said they had to use a taser to subdue Johnson because he was fighting with officers.

During the pursuit, police said Johnson also drove at an officer, so he will face additional aggravated assault charges.

City Solicitor Bill Riley told WSB that Johnson failed to pay more than $2,000 in fines from a previous DUI conviction and the judge decided to sentence him to 63 days in jail.

“He was non-compliant in his probation and I guess his acts were consistent with his acts as a probationer also,” Riley said.

A witness in court Tuesday said Johnson argued with his parole officer as well as with the district attorney during his hearing.

After the sentence, the witness said Johnson at first sat calmly, then walked out of the courtroom. It wasn’t until a bailiff ran out of the room that the witness realized Johnson had bolted.

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Paul April 10, 2014 at 09:10 AM
WOW! THE POLICE REALLY HAVE THE CAR SURROUNDED! GOOD JOB! Alcohol is tremendously more dangerous to the individual, and to society, and much more addictive than marijuana. How could our laws be so screwed up?
nitagregory April 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Wack dude glad he is where he is the less people who don't care about themselves or others are off the street behind bars good one more life saved
John Strother April 10, 2014 at 01:19 PM
why was this under local news? Why would they had even let him leave the Courthouse if he was intoxicated? They must have smelled it on him. Alcohol is not legal, it can be bought legally, but after that it becomes very illegal. Drunk driving, open bottle, or supplying to underage all are illegal. This man is a habitual drunk, must be believing he was legal to do as he has done.
Glenn E Grab April 10, 2014 at 06:06 PM
he was acting in true alcoholic fashion...
American Citizen April 22, 2014 at 10:20 AM
All I have to say is no matter what state it happened in, YOU CANT FIX STUPID!!!!

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