Johnny James Edwards, 38, of 119 Tadpole Lane is charged with first degree burglary, criminal domestic violence — high and aggravated, child endangerment, failure to stop for a blue light, probation violation, resisting arrest, trespassing and unlawful endangerment of a child.
According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to Ridgefield Circle in Easley on Jan. 31 regarding a trespassing incident.
Deputies were advised that the suspect was breaking into the home and that dispatch had lost contact with the caller.
Upon arrival, deputies found a woman standing in her driveway, bleeding from wounds to the head, screaming that her baby had been taken, the release said.
Edwards, the victim’s husband, was found walking down the roadway with an infant in his arms.
Edward ignored commands from the deputy who found him, then got into his car with the child, the release said.
The deputy attempted to block Edwards’ SUV with his patrol car, but Edwards then drove around it.
Edwards then hung the child out of the open door of the SUV in an apparent attempt to get the deputies to back off, the release said.
He then fled the scene. Because he was not driving fast or erratically, deputies turned off their emergency equipment and followed him.
After making telephone contact with Edwards, deputies convinced him to pull over. Edwards gave the child to a deputy before fleeing again.
Later that same evening, Edwards called the Sheriff’s Office and asked to make contact with the deputy who had taken his child. He asked to meet that deputy at a Marietta gas station.
When the deputy arrived, Edwards fled. Two officers with the Department of Natural Resources, who were assisting the Sheriff’s Office, began pursuit.
Edwards used his vehicle to strike a DNR vehicle multiple times during the chase, the release said.
Edwards called the Sheriff’s Office again, stating he wished to surrender, but kept fleeing the DNR officers.
Deputies took over the chase once it crossed Pickens County. Edwards stopped near Beaver Pond Road and was taken into custody.
“The deputies did an excellent job, especially by continuing to calmly talk to Edwards while he had the child,” Sheriff C. David Stone said. “Getting back the child safely was the priority. They really showed a lot of prudence during the course of a very tense situation.”
Stone thanked the DNR officers for their assistance.
The Department of Natural Resources is also expected to file charges against Edwards.
He is being held at the Pickens County Detention Center.