CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Clayton County Police believe the suspect that struck an officer with his truck is still in the area. The manhunt for 36-year-old Thomas Paige will resume Thursday morning.
An officer was seriously hurt when he was struck by a pickup while responding to a call Wednesday afternoon. Police say Paige was behind the wheel.
The officer was responding to a suspected burglary at an empty building that used to be a Kmart on Old Dixie Rd near Interstate 75 at about 12:30 p.m. Police believe Paige was planning to steal copper wires and other scrap metal from the empty bulding. He had been previously arrested for copper theft.
According to Clayton County Police Major Rick Webster, the officer was hit and injured by a black Chevrolet pickup fleeing the building as officers approached the building on foot.
The truck tried to leave the parking lot by driving through some bushes onto an entrance ramp to I-75 northbound. The pickup's rear bumper got caught in the bushes, preventing it from getting away.
Police said the truck's passenger fled by foot into some nearby woods and was caught, while the driver, believed to be Paige, fled on foot and is still being sought by police.
Webster said the officer was seriously hurt with some head injuries, but was talking when he was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center.
Wednesday night, SWAT teams surrounded a house in DeKalb county after a 911 tip said Paige was inside the house. After a tense night, police determined no one was inside the house and the call was a hoax. Now, they're looking into that 911 call to determine if charges could be filed in the false alarm.