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EPD catches convicted felon after hit-and-run

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On a rainy Friday night in Eatonton, Antonio Vinson, 24, of Sparta was arrested for multiple traffic violations plus fighting with Eatonton Police Officers and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. This all resulted from a hit-and-run accident after which Vinson – one of the drivers – allegedly fled the scene on foot.

According to Eatonton Acting Police Chief Howell Cardwell, at some time before 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 the EPD received the call of a two-vehicle wreck at W. Marion Street and Tecumseh Avenue. Officer Maya Ptak responded and was told by several witnesses that one of the drivers, a Black male, ran away on foot. Acting Chief Cardwell said investigation into the abandoned vehicle revealed paperwork such as bills containing the name Antonio Vinson and a Sparta address.

The vehicle had a drive-out tag.

It was about two hours later, according to Acting Chief Cardwell, that the police received a call of a suspicious person at an empty home on Candler Court, which he said was just a quarter mile from the scene of the auto accident. The man found outside the home at the scene fought with the responding officers and refused to give them his name.

Those officers were Eli James, Dylan Waldrop and Christian Waldrop. Acting Chief Cardwell said they detained the male, brought him to the police station and eventually learned his identity as Vinson from an acquaintance who arrived at the station afterwards.

Acting Chief Cardwell added that investigation into the abandon vehicle revealed a Taurus .45 caliber pistol. Upon also learning that Vinson was a convicted felon (for theft by receiving stolen property), the EPD charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Further charges include three misdemeanor counts of obstruction by an officer, DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, open container in vehicle, reckless driving, driving while license withdrawn, no insurance and failure to register vehicle.