Marshal injured in manhunt
Suspect wanted in S.C. also hurt in confrontation

SNELLVILLE - Orlene Ashley saw the makings of an ultra-violent video game from her Snellville front porch Wednesday: Swarms of police, guns drawn, crowding her street, a flurry of helicopters overhead.

"Everybody was just taking cover - all different angles," Ashley said. "For a second, I was scared."

Ashley described the end of a quick manhunt that started Wednesday morning about a half-mile away in the parking lot of a Snellville Rite Aid. The incident left a Deputy U.S. Marshal and the wanted man he was after, Reuben Levy, 35, in Gwinnett hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Federal authorities were pursuing Levy because he was violating his probation for a bank robbery, said U.S. Marshal Richard Mecum. Levy was also wanted on two warrants out of Richmond County, S.C., for two counts of grand larceny and one count of aggravated assault with a firearm.

"We had reason to believe he was armed," Mecum said.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeremy Smith, a member of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, tried to arrest Levy about 11:40 a.m. in a Rite Aid parking lot at the corner of Rosebud Road and U.S. Highway 78.

The confrontation turned violent when Smith reached in the suspect's Crown Victoria, trying to remove Levy's keys from the ignition to demobilize him. Levy punched the gas while Smith dangled from the vehicle, dragging him across the parking lot, Mecum said.

Smith fired one shot into the suspect's arm in the Rite Aid parking lot, near the U.S. Highway 78 entrance, and worked himself free. The suspect then fled in his car onto Rosebud Road, officials said.

Smith suffered injuries to his left hand, and scrapes to his arm, elbow and knee. He was taken to Emory Eastside Medical Center for treatment, Mecum said.

"He basically got caught up in the car, trying to hang on," he said. "He was having difficulty getting loose, so he fired a round."

Meanwhile, an Atlanta Police Department officer - working alongside Smith on the fugitive task force - drove after the suspect in a winding chase that concluded about a half-mile away in Hawthorn Glen subdivision.

According to witnesses, Levy abandoned his car in the backyard of a home on Story Book Court, then ran through a shady path to an adjacent home, where officers cornered him within a privacy fence for 15 minutes before he surrendered.

"He parked his car in my friend's backyard," said resident Dewayne Thompson, 12. "What's the point of running? They're going to catch you eventually."

Mecum, the U.S. Marshal, said the suspect hid in a shed, leaving behind a trail of blood, and gave up without a fight. He was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville for treatment.

"Having been shot, he was not really in a position to disagree too much," Mecum said.

Mecum was unsure why the suspect was in Gwinnett County. He said Levy will likely face additional federal charges stemming from the incident Wednesday.

As for Smith, a former Marine, the U.S. Marshal predicts he'll recover in a hurry.

"I think he'll be all right," said Mecum. "He's usually a rock-steady kind of guy."