Rome man arrested after domestic altercation in Bartow County leads to high-speed chase in Floyd

According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, On May 4th, 2023, at 12:47 PM, Officer Whaley responded to the area of GA 20 and GA 1 Loop in reference to a BOLO on GA 20 coming in from Bartow County around Macedonia Road approaching the Floyd County Line. The BOLO was for a Blue Solara passenger car. There was some type of domestic altercation where a black male, later identified as Marcus Levar Watley, 45, Rome, was seen dragging a female victim out of the vehicle and then driving off, leaving the female on the side of the road. A Rome City police officer was able to catch up to the vehicle on the GA 1 Loop between Calhoun Road and GA 53. Officer Whaley reported, “It was undetermined prior to this if Bartow County was going to have any charges on Marcus Watley, who was supposed to be occupying the vehicle. The vehicle failed to stop for the city officer and began to accelerate away from him. During this time, dispatch advised Bartow County was not going to have any charges on Marcus. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop for the Rome City Police officer. [I] had already activated my emergency equipment and was traveling behind the city officer. The speed was in the upper sixties as we were following behind the vehicle.” Officer Whaley continued to pursue the vehicle onto GA 53, heading south toward Rome. Officer Whaley continued pursuit of the vehicle and caught back up to the vehicle on North Broad at North Ave. The vehicle was stopped for the red light as Officer Whaley approached the vehicle, the vehicle ran the red light and accelerated at a high rate of speed. The pursuit continued through Rome at speeds over 80 mph. Watley then ran the red light on Broad Street at 5th Ave. Floyd County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Black pulled his vehicle up in the lane of travel blocking the vehicle from entering the outside lane as it was attempting to continue fleeing. Watley attempted to back up as Deputy Black exited his patrol vehicle and drew his duty weapon and pointed it at the vehicle, and began giving verbal commands to Watley to put it in the park. Chief Investigator Weaver and Deputy Noles approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and gave verbal commands to Watley to keep his hands up and to exit the vehicle. Watley was pulled out of the vehicle and placed on the ground by Investigator Weaver and City Officer Groover. Watley stated that he and his wife had gotten into a physical domestic while heading home from Atlanta. Watley stated the reason he left that scene is because they had a history, and she had gotten him arrested under “false pretenses” in the past. Watley stated the reason he did not stop was because he was trying to get to his parent’s residence. Watley stated there is a history of his wife taking out false charges against him. Watley stated he knew he broke the law and was not trying to get any sympathy but was trying to inform officers of the history between them and why he did not stop. Watley was booked into the Floyd County Jail, for felony fleeing, speeding, reckless driving, failing to maintain a single lane, and failure to obey traffic control device x2.

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