Two men were arrested by police Wednesday after a home invasion in Oakland Park netted $24, a pack of cigarettes and led officers on a high-speed chase at 100 mph, a police officer testified in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Marshall Byrd, 28, and Robert White, 39, pleaded not guilty to a felony home invasion charge in the 9:44 p.m. break-in on Ramsey Road. Judge Julius Hunter set no bond for both men and bound the charges over to Muscogee Superior Court. Bryd also faces 18 other traffic and felony kidnapping charges in connection with fleeing and eluding police.
After police were called about a home invasion on Ramsey Road, officer John Poe said a man who was outside the house pointed to a stolen Kia Rio backing into a driveway and said they were robbed. Poe said he turned on his emergency blue lights and attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled at a high rate of speed.
The vehicle, which was carrying two occupants, went through a stop sign at Howe Avenue and Avondale Road, continued and ran the red light at South Lumpkin Road. The Kia continued on Benning Drive, running another red light at Victory Drive.
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Poe said the vehicle fled west on Victory Drive at more than 100 mph but he was directed to break off the pursuit at North Lumpkin Road. Authorities in Phenix City were notified about the fleeing vehicle. Phenix City police pursued the Kia on River Road as it turned south on Hamilton Road where stop strips flattened the tires.
Officer Brian Dudley said he could see smoke pouring from the tires. He also saw the passenger, White, as he tried to get out of the vehicle. The chase ended at 24th Street and Veterans Parkway, where the car struck a church at the intersection.
White was taken into custody near the car while Byrd was arrested after a foot chase behind the BP Food Mart at 2317 Veterans Parkway, police said.
Because Byrd didn’t allow White to leave the car, police charged Byrd with kidnapping along with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, theft by receiving stolen property, two counts of fleeing and eluding, two counts of driving while license suspended, two counts of reckless driving, two counts of failing to obey traffic devices, one count of striking the church, obstruction of an officer, no proof of insurance, failing to show license, having unsafe tires and running a stop sign.
No one was injured during the home invasion. Inside the home, the victims said the suspects faces were covered with a dark cloth and one pointed what appeared to be a gun but it was a wrapped hammer.