Wild Ride

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 20, 2006

A police chase that began in Montgomery County and stretched all the way through Lowndes County ended on Highway 185 in Greenville Thursday afternoon.

Early Thursday morning, a City of Montgomery maintenance vehicle was reported missing. Thursday afternoon, Jan. 20, 2006, around 3:30 p.m., officers located the stolen vehicle and attempted to pull it over. The suspect, Scott Manzo, 37, then led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase, with speeds sometimes reaching 100 miles per hour.

According to Major K. J. Murphy of the Montgomery Police Department, Manzo led police beginning on Highway 31 and continuing down several country roads through Lowndes County. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Department and the Fort Deposit Police Department joined in the chase with the Montgomery Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and Alabama state troopers.

The Butler County Sheriff's Department and the Greenville Police Department were soon notified as Manzo came closer to the Butler County line. Murphy said that two attempts to stop the vehicle with spikes failed when Manzo dodged them.

However, as the maintenance truck came down Highway 185, the spikes were deployed again. Manzo swerved to miss them, overcorrected and went airborne. He skimmed a tree, and the vehicle flipped, landing alongside Butler County sheriff's deputy Jason Blue's patrol car. The K-9 unit, which was still in the backseat of the patrol car, was not injured. Lt. Garry Martin, Deputy Blue and several other law enforcement officers had to avoid flying debris from the maintenance vehicle after it began to flip.

Manzo received minor injuries in the accident.

&#8220Right now, my officer is okay, and the canine is okay,” Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris said. &#8220But, there is damage to the deputy's vehicle.”

Lowndes County Chief Deputy John Williams said that it was a miracle no one was injured during the chase.

&#8220He came down every curvy country road in Lowndes County,” he said.

Manzo was transported back to Montgomery County where he was charged with theft of property, first degree, and reckless endangerment.