4 people face felony charges, Tuscaloosa officer forced off road before chase

4 people face felony charges, Tuscaloosa officer forced off road before chase
Pierre Lawson and Kedarius Johnson (Source: Tuscaloosa Police Department)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Four people, three adults and a teenager, are charged with felonies after a chase that started after a Tuscaloosa Police Officer was forced off the road.

Tuscaloosa Police said the chases happened in the area of Rice Mine and Watermelon Roads Monday, February 8.

Officers said it started at 3:19 p.m. when the 17-year-old driver of a Toyota Avalon cut off a Tuscaloosa Police officer and ran him off the roadway in front of the Holt Chevron on Jack Warner Parkway.

The officer, in a marked unit, called for backup and followed the driver over the Bryant Bridge. The officer said the driver was speeding at 100 miles per hour.

At that point the officer ended the pursuit, as the driver continued north on Rice Mine Road, near the intersection with New Watermelon Road.

The driver rear-ended another vehicle, causing major damage. Four people jumped out of the car near Taco Casa.

Officers searched the residential area, locating two girls, 14 and 17, hiding in the woods.

The officer determined the crashed car, involved in the chase, was a stolen Toyota Avalon. The officers chased two males from the Avalon on Old Colony Road when they were observed getting into a gray Ford Fusion.

TPD’s helicopter tracked the Fusion and directed officers on the ground to follow, going south on Watermelon Road. While following the second vehicle, officers witnessed an occupant throw a handgun from the driver’s side window.

Investigators said the gun was stolen from another jurisdiction.

The Ford Fusion eventually stopped in the parking lot of Northport Funeral and Cremation on Watermelon Road. Four people were taken into custody at 3:46 p.m. Officers searched the Fusion and located a handgun.

Three adults and the 17-year-old are all facing felony charges.

The females were all released to the custody of their parents.

17-year-old male: (Driver of the Avalon, initial pursuit suspect) Juvenile in possession of firearm for the gun found in the second vehicle and first-degree receiving stolen property related to the stolen Avalon. Multiple traffic offenses.

Kedarius Johnson, 19, (passenger) was charged with first-degree receiving stolen property. Bond was set at $10,000.

Pierre Lawson, 18, (driver of the Ford Fusion) was charged with second-degree receiving stolen property (handgun thrown from the vehicle), pistol permit required and hindering prosecution.

Tyesha Lawson, 20, (occupant of the Ford Fusion) Hindering prosecution

16-year-old female from Anniston (occupant of the Ford Fusion): No charges, released to parents

17-year-old female: No charges, released to parents

14-year-old female: No charges, released to parents

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