Crime

He fired 19 rounds and led cops on car chase, police say. Here’s what happened in court

Police today are more judicious in continuing high-speed pursuits

For routine traffic violations, police don’t pursue fleeing suspects, said Maj. J.D. Hawk, who heads the patrol division. Often such chases are unnecessary anyway, because the officer trying to make the stop already has the driver’s tag number and
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For routine traffic violations, police don’t pursue fleeing suspects, said Maj. J.D. Hawk, who heads the patrol division. Often such chases are unnecessary anyway, because the officer trying to make the stop already has the driver’s tag number and

At 10:30 in the morning outside a hotel in one of the busiest parts of Columbus, Curtis Lamar Adams fired 19 rounds from a handgun at a man leaving the business with the mother of Adams’ child, initiating a gunfight that prompted multiple 911 calls, police said.

Afterward Adams, who was convicted of manslaughter here in 2010, led police on a chase up Veterans Parkway before he hit another car, the impact causing Adams’ Ford Crown Victoria to overturn, officers said.

It started June 1 at the Candlewood Suites, 6611 Whittlesey Blvd., where surveillance video showed Adams had been waiting in the parking lot in his black Ford Crown Vic, which witnesses told police they’d seen the night before, parked farther away, before Adams moved it, police said.

When the man and woman came out the hotel’s front door, Adams got out of the passenger’s side of his car and trotted toward them, pulling a gun from his waistband and opening fire, a detective testified Wednesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

Wounded, the man fell, pulled his own gun and fired back, police said. The woman ran back into the hotel.

The wounded man then ran to the rear of the hotel and stashed his gun in a nearby wood line, police said. Later hospitalized, he declined to speak with investigators without an attorney present. He and the woman had been traveling together in the same car, officers said.

The chase

Patrol officers testified they were en route to the hotel when they were told the suspect had fled in a black Crown Vic. They saw the car speeding east on Whittlesey Boulevard toward Veterans Parkway, where it turned north.

Reaching speeds up to 90 mph, Adams weaved through traffic before hitting another car at Northlake Parkway, where the Crown Vic overturned and Adams crawled out the rear passenger’s window on the driver’s side, police said.

Adams tried to run, but fell, telling officers he had been shot in the left leg, and that he had fired back in self-defense, police said.

Adams was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one with intent to murder, and 13 traffic violations such as reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding and fleeing police.

Judge Julius Hunter sent Adams’ case to Superior Court, setting no bond on the assault charges, and no bond on an additional charge alleging Adams was a first offender on probation who could could not legally possess a firearm.

Adams today is 26. According to Ledger-Enquirer archives, he was 16 when he was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of 32-year-old John Edward O’Neal, his aunt’s boyfriend.

Authorities said Adams was among those gathered at Victory Crossing Apartments, 3390 N. Lumpkin Road, when a fight erupted. Adams shot O’Neal in the back after O’Neal assaulted Adams’ aunt, prosecutors said.

In 2010, at age 18, Adams pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in O’Neal’s death. Superior Court Judge John Allen sentenced him to 15 years, with six to serve in prison and the rest on probation.

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