CONYERS - A Conyers man allegedly led police on a short chase down I-20 with five children ranging in age from twin 7-month-old babies to a 6-year-old unsecured in the car. The children were frightened, but none were injured during the incident, and their mother took them into custody.
The incident occurred about 10:47 p.m. on July 12, according to a report from the Conyers Police Department. An officer on patrol did a tag check on a 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser on West Avenue with a poorly working brake light. The check came back as the vehicle not having valid insurance and the officer performed a traffic stop on the entrance ramp to Interstate 20 East.
The driver was identified as Kevin Dearo Roberts, 28. While explaining why he had stopped Roberts, the officer noted seeing the five young children in the car not properly secured. A 5-year-old was in the front seat. On the back seat were twin 7-month-old infants in front-facing car seats that were not secured, with a 6-year-old between them, and a 1-year-old in the floorboard.
Roberts told the officer he was taking the children to their mother. The officer advised him that the children were not properly buckled and that someone would need to bring car seats for all of them. Roberts contacted the mother and said she was on the way.
A second officer arrived to assist and the first officer, who reported the odor of marijuana coming from the car, asked Roberts if he had any marijuana. Roberts allegedly confirmed that he did and gave the officer a cigar packet with suspected marijuana wrapped in plastic inside.
Roberts said he thought his insurance was current. The officer reported that Roberts was being cooperative, so he was allowed to remain sitting in the car with the children while the officer went back to his patrol car to check on the insurance. The officer found that the insurance had been cancelled on June 25 for alleged non-payment.
The officer went back and advised Roberts of the cancellation and told him the vehicle would have to be impounded. More officers arrived to assist and while the first officer was advising them of the situation, Roberts started his car and took off onto I-20.
Three officers followed in pursuit. They reported Roberts was traveling about 50 mph, and they were able to box him in and force him to pull over and stop about half a mile down I-20.
Roberts was ordered out of the car and to lie down on the ground. He complied without incident, and he was handcuffed and placed into a patrol vehicle.
The officers stayed with the children until their mother arrived.
Roberts was transported to the Rockdale County Jail and charged with five counts of reckless conduct, five counts of child restraint violations, fleeing and attempting to elude, no insurance, and possession of marijuana less than an ounce.