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Man leads deputy on chase after hitting pickup with axe
Bryan County Sheriff's Office logo

A Brooklet man faces a number of charges after a bizarre incident Monday on Highway 144 in Richmond Hill. According to a Bryan County Sheriff’s Office initial incident report a deputy was sent to Highway 144 near Strathy Hall around 2:30 pm. March 13 in response to reports of “a white male standing outside a tan in color truck hitting it with an axe, swinging said axe at passing cars and throwing trash at passing cars.”

The report continued by noting the man, identified as 30-year-old Nicholas Avery Knight, of Brooklet, “was blurting out obscenities at passing cars and at anyone who stopped.” The deputy saw Knight get inside the pickup, which was pointed east, turn in front of moving traffic, nearly hitting a vehicle, then headed west, “almost causing another vehicle collision,” the report said.

The deputy got behind the pickup with his lights and siren going, and “the vehicle picked up speed, swerved from lane to lane and as we approached Charlies Road speed had picked up to 80 mph, according to the speedometer, with no indication that the driver had intentions of stopping.”

The chase continued, with Knight “swerving from lane to lane, almost hitting vehicles” according to the deputy, before getting to a red light at Timber Trial.

There, “the vehicle slowed down, almost rear ending several vehicles as it went from lane to lane, eventually making it over a concrete median into oncoming traffic east bound.”

The pickup kept going west, reaching speeds of 80 mph before it got to Frances Meeks, where a train had just crossed 144 and “traffic was at a standstill.” There were a number of near collisions as Knight tried to decide which way to go before going back into the east bound lanes, passing westbound traffic, then moving back to the west bound lanes “continuing at speeds of over 80 mph,” and at Highway 17 the “speeds hit 86 mph according to my speedometer,” the report said.

At that point, BCSO called off the chase. The deputy turned off his lights and siren and pulled into the parking lot at Mulberry, where he watched as the pickup ran a red light on Highway 17 north and Knight allegedly “continued to drive in a reckless disregard for the public safety.”

Knight pulled over shortly afterward on Highway 17, and “indicated with hand motions that he was either giving up or wanted to tell (deputies) something,” the report continued, adding that “they approached the driver and he stated he ran out of gas.”

Knight was arrested and remained in Bryan County Jail on Wednesday on charges ranging from reckless driving to suspended license, fleeing, driving on the wrong side of the road, no brake lights or working turn signals to failing to obey traffic devices.

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