Police: Valdosta man carjacked multiple victims, crashed twice

Joshua Washington
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
December 10, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- A suspect is behind bars on multiple charges following a crime spree in Valdosta on Saturday.

On Monday, the Valdosta Police Department announced the arrest of 30-year-old Joshua Washington on charges of carjacking, robbery, burglary, kidnapping and numerous traffic violations.

According to VPD, at 7:43 a.m. Saturday, a family from North Carolina was preparing to leave a motel in the 1800 block of West Hill Avenue. As they were getting into their vehicle, a man, later identified as Washington, approached them, grabbed a cell phone from one of the victims, then opened the driver’s side door of the vehicle. Police say Washington then flashed a handgun at the victims and forcibly entered the vehicle. The victims were able to get out safely before the suspect drove away in the stolen car.

As police were responding to the scene, dispatchers received word of a crash with injuries in the 300 block of West Hill Avenue. Police say Washington had driven the stolen vehicle the wrong way on West Central Avenue, causing a head-on collision with a vehicle that was traveling westbound on West Central Avenue. The other driver was taken to South Georgia Medical Center, where she was last listed in stable condition.

VPD says Washington fled the scene of the accident on foot and ran to the Budget Inn in the 200 block of West Hill Avenue. Washington reportedly forced his way into the office area of the motel and physically forced two employees to another area of the motel. One of these victims was able to break free and run to safety. Neither employee was hurt.

Police say Washington then fled from the motel on foot and stopped a car in the 200 block of West Hill Avenue. The driver was able to escape as Washington forcibly entered the vehicle. Washington took off in the stolen vehicle, driving east on West Hill Avenue.

Police saw Washington driving recklessly in the stolen vehicle on East Hill Avenue and began to follow him as he headed north on Troup Street. When officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Washington fled in the vehicle.Officers pursued the vehicle on North Troup Street an onto Woodlawn Drive. In the 700 block of Woodlawn Drive, Washington lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. Washington then fled on foot but was quickly apprehend by officers.

Washington suffered superficial injuries from the traffic accidents. He was treated at South Georgia Medical Center before being taken to the Lowndes County Jail.

VPD Interim Chief Leslie Manahan said, "Our thoughts go out to all the victims who were impacted by Washington’s actions. Our officers did an excellent job with their persistence in doing everything they could to make sure that Washington was apprehended, and his crime spree was stopped before any other people were harmed by his actions."