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At times, reaching speeds of 120 mph Hosford man in stolen vehicle leads 76-mile chase

by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor

A Hosford man in a stolen SUV led officers on a 76-mile chase, at times reaching speeds of over 120 mph, early Sunday morning through Calhoun County into Bay County before returning to Blountstown, where he wrecked after striking a guardrail on SR 20 near River Street, according to a report from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office.

During the chase, Chet Geiger raced through several stop signs and ran numerous vehicles off the road, including patrol cars.

Geiger, 34, is facing a lengthy list of charges including:

•Fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer with sirens and lights activated

•Two counts aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer

•Possession of methamphetamine

•Possession of drug equipment

*Two counts driving with a suspended license

•Reckless driving with damage to person or property

•Hit and run

*Grand theft of more than $10,000 but less than $20,000

•DUI

•Property damage

•Out of county warrant.

The chase began after the 2004 Toyota Sequoia, which had been reported stolen two days earlier, crossed the bridge into Blountstown early on Nov. 4.  According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s office, the SUV was stolen from a relative of Geiger’s.  It had been broken into and hotwired before being removed from the property on Nov. 2.

Officer Andy Pace with the Blountstown Police Department (BPD) spotted the vehicle, pulled in behind it to check the tag and verified it had been reported as stolen from Liberty County.

Deputy Colby Beck caught up with the SUV at the intersection of H.A. Varnum Road and SR 71 South, activated his lights and siren and attempted to pull it over.  Geiger suddenly sped up, turned onto Chipola Road and kept gaining speed with Beck, Deputy John Barber and Pace in pursuit.

The chase continued on Chipola Road, crossed over SR 20 and onto Mayo Street, with Geiger ignoring the stop sign as he turned onto Oak Street and then went northbound on Charlie Johns Street before pulling on to SR 71 North, where he began to reach speeds of over 120 mph.

Geiger sped north until reaching CR 274 in Altha, where he made a left turn onto CR 274 West and struck the front bumper of a vehicle stopped at the intersection.  As he continued speeding westbound, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) were alerted.

He continued on for 12 miles before turning left onto Porter Grade Road, followed by a right on Purdee Road and then going straight onto Lake McKenzie Road.  He then headed back to CR 274 West, then turned left.  At that point, Geiger slowed down to about 40 mph but traveled across both lanes.  As he approached CR 167, he turned left to go into Bay County.

Geiger crossed the median of SR 231 and headed southbound as FHP and the BCSO joined the pursuit.  Geiger managed to avoid spike strips the BCSO had put in his path and continued on to SR 20, where he crossed the median into the northbound lanes of SR 231, then turned left onto 20 to head back into Calhoun County.

When Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel pulled out to pass Geiger in an effort to slow him down, Geiger swerved toward him in an attempt to run him off the road.  Beck also tried the same tactic but Geiger - who was traveling approximately 100 mph -  moved to the middle of the road and then drove into the oncoming lane, running several vehicles off the road.

As they approached Blountstown, Geiger made a quick turn onto Warren Road to avoid a roadblock set up ahead by BPD Captain Adam Terry.  Geiger guided the stolen car through the grass and rear parking lot of PeoplesSouth Bank.   He  drove through several yards before returning to the roadway at Gaskin Street. Along the way, he hit a city-owned gate near the dam.  Next, he turned onto Sherry Avenue and continued speeding as he reached River Street, turned left and began heading north.

He eluded a deputy’s effort to stop him at River Street and SR 20 E, returning to SR 20 on the north side shoulder, traveling east as Beck attempted to block him from returning to SR 20.

As Geiger crossed back onto SR 20, he began to lose control of the car and hit a guard rail across from the Southern Express east of Blountstown.  The car went down a steep embankment and hit a tree at the bottom of the hill.  Beck and Barber then pulled Geiger out and took him into custody.

Beck found a small baggie of crystal meth in the driver’s floorboard.  A used hypodermic needle was discovered under the front passenger’s seat.

Geiger is being held without bond.

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Date
November 10th, 2017

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Staff

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