A 19-year-old man from Hall County is in custody on a felony charge after he allegedly ran from authorities at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck in southern Dawson County.
Authorities arrived on scene at about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at Wildwood Court off Black’s Mill Road, where a silver 2002 Suzuki sport utility vehicle had left the road and hit an embankment.
Authorities believed Christopher Joseph Lantz — a passenger in the vehicle — to be under the influence of alcohol, according to Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wooten.
When a deputy found two blue pills inside Lantz’s wallet — who was already handcuffed — he took off running, Wooten said.
“He darted off into a heavily wooded area near the creek,” he said. About two hours later, Lantz was arrested and taken into custody.
“He had not gone far,” Wooten said. “He went into the creek and was actually under the water holding his breath. He had stayed in the creek almost the whole time.”
Wooten added that “it was a thickly wooded area. They brought out the tracking dogs and basically surrounded the area and eventually located him.”
Lantz was charged with one felony count of obstruction “in an attempt to kick an officer once he was located,” five misdemeanor counts of obstruction, possession of a controlled substance, open container, underage consumption and possession of an alcoholic beverage.
Wooten said the pills found in Lantz’ wallet were Kolonopin, a schedule 4 drug.
The driver, Joseph Miller, 20, of Dawsonville, did not flee the scene. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor, driving too fast for conditions and having an open container.
He posted a $2,734 bond on Sept. 10.
Two 17-year-old girls from Lumpkin County were also in the vehicle but were not cited.
Because the incident occurred near Black’s Mill Elementary School officers were sent to the location.
Many students had already left school for the day, but Wooten said because of its proximity officers were stationed at the school as a precaution.
“We worked with school officials to make sure everything was done safely and that they were aware of what was going on,” Wooten said.