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Trio apprehended following police pursuit

A Savannah man is facing multiple charges after leading police on a pursuit in Richmond Hill Sunday evening.

Christopher Payton, 19, and his two passengers – a 16-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy – all tried to run from police after Payton led them into the Plantation Apartments complex and crashed a car he had stolen in Savannah, according to Richmond Hill Police Maj. Michael Albritton.

The pursuit began around 6:30 p.m. in the Piercefield subdivision, Albritton said. A Richmond Hill Police officer patrolling the area reportedly saw a Nissan Altima weaving and suspected the driver might be intoxicated.

“I think they were out joyriding and they got nervous when the officer got behind them,” Albritton said.

Payton did not stop when the officer turned on his blue lights, according to Albritton. Payton’s speed reached “around 40” mph within Piercefield, Albritton said, “which is not outrageous, but is reckless for being in the subdivision.”

Payton reportedly gained speed when he turned onto Highway 17 and then Harris Trail. He led police into Plantation Apartments, where he crashed into some parked cars, Albritton said.

The driver and his two teenage passengers all ran from the car. Payton and the 16-year-old girl were quickly caught, according to Albritton.

The 15-year-old passenger was taken into custody about three hours later after a visit to the Domino’s Pizza on Highway 17. The teen reportedly asked to use the store’s phone, and employees noticed he matched the description of someone police were looking for.

“The officer was waiting for him when he walked out of Domino’s,” Albritton said.

The stolen car is registered in Connecticut, according to Albritton. It apparently was stolen from someone who is visiting Savannah, he said.

Payton was booked into the Bryan County Detention Center on charges of theft by receiving stolen property and fleeing police, both felonies. He also was charged with six misdemeanors – obstruction, speeding, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane and running a stop sign.

The two juvenile passengers were charged with misdemeanor obstruction and turned over to their parents, Albritton said.

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