Drunk Acworth man leads authorities on high-speed chase down I-75 after violently assaulting woman
According to Georgia State Patrol and Whitfield County Sheriff's Office incident reports, on Saturday, September 5th, 2020, at approximately 7:13 PM, Whitfield and Catoosa Counties 911 received several calls from concerned citizens regarding a 1999 Ford Ranger traveling Southbound on I-75 speeding and all over the roadway. The concerned citizens and witnesses later stated to a Whitfield County deputy that they witnessed the male driver, later identified as Brennen Casey Howard, 27 of Acworth, Georgia, assaulting a female passenger while driving and holding her down against her will. The witnesses stated the female victim was hanging out of the door, trying to escape from the truck. A witness from Ringgold stated the truck swerved over towards him and almost hit him. He stated Howard was repeatedly hitting the female over and over with haymakers. Another witness from Dalton stated his family witnessed Howard repeatedly slamming the female victims face into the dash. When the female victim tried to get out of the truck, Howard would grab her by the hair and drag her back into the truck. The truck exited at exit 336 (Rocky Face), where the female victim was able to escape from Howard. That's when a witness from LaFayette stated Howard tried to get into another witnesses' vehicle while chasing the victim. The driver of this vehicle had his children with him and pulled his gun out when Howard attempted to open the rear door. According to the incident report, there were several witnesses and concerned citizens who followed Howard. Deputies and a Trooper were in the area attempting to locate the truck quickly responded to the area. They spotted the Ford Ranger traveling at a high rate of speed onto the 336 on-ramp to I-75. Whitfield County Lieutenant O'Mahony and Georgia State Patrol Sargent Gideon caught up to the truck, but the vehicle continued south at a high rate of speed. The truck was traveling 100 MPH in the left lane with its hazard lights activated. Sargent Gideon reported, "[I] then advised Troop A Communications that [I] was the primary unit and the vehicle was not stopping, and the driver of the vehicle had initiated a pursuit." Howard would, at times, slow to about 85 MPH but then would speed back up to 100 MPH. Sargent Gideon reported, "[I] had no units available to deploy stop sticks and not enough trained units to attempt a box in maneuver." Sargent Gideon began to look for a location to perform a PIT maneuver to stop the fleeing vehicle and end the pursuit to protect the motoring public. Sargent Gideon reported, "In the area of mile marker 324, [I] was able to locate an area free of traffic and was able to perform a successful PIT maneuver." According to the crash report, a 2017 GSP Dodge Charger being driven by Sargent Gideon contacted the right rear of the fleeing Ranger with his left front. After impact, the Ranger overturned one revolution and landed back upright. The Ranger continued traveling off the west shoulder of I-75 before striking a tree with its front right side. Whitfield County Deputies gave the Howard verbal commands with weapons drawn. Howard exited the vehicle and was taken into custody. EMS treated the driver for cuts and abrasions on the scene. Trooper Shackleford read Howard his Miranda. Howard stated that he had been at a birthday celebration in Chattanooga, TN. Howard then stated that his friend had become intoxicated and had passed out. Howard stated that he then left with his girlfriend, and they had gotten into some an argument. When asked why he did not stop for law enforcement, he stated that he was scared and was going to his mothers. Howard stated that he had drunk one beer earlier. Sargent Gideon reported, "As [I] talked with the driver, [I] also observed that the driver had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and person." Trooper also noticed Howard had red glassy eyes and slurred speech and would get upset and cry. Howard refused an Alco-Sensor test and refused any other field tests. Howard was booked into the Whitfield County Jail charged by the Georgia State Patrol with DUI, open container violation, speeding, felony fleeing/attempting to elude a police officer and reckless driving and by the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office with false imprisonment, simple assault, cruelty to a child, battery (family violence), reckless driving, aggressive driving, pedestrian under the influence of alcohol or drug, improper stopping/parking on the roadway, improper lane change or usage, impeding the flow of traffic and speeding. As of Monday, September 14th, 2020, Howard remains in the Whitfield County Jail without a bond. According to reports, Howard pled guilty in Bartow County to DUI- driving under the influence of alcohol over 0.08g or more and felony probation violation. The 27-year-old female victim from Cartersville was taken home by her brother, who responded to the scene. Pictures of her injuries were taken and placed into evidence.