Maryland Man Leads Lavonia Police on Chase

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

A Maryland man is out on bond after leading Lavonia Police on a chase last weekend.

Lavonia Police Chief Bruce Carlisle said it happened at about 3 a.m. last Saturday when officers attempted to pull over a white Mustang for a routine traffic stop at the McDonald’s on Jones Street.

“The vehicle had accelerated at a high rate of speed, spinning the tires as it came out of the McDonald’s parking lot,” Carlisle said Monday. “Officers tried to initiate a stop, but the vehicle fled down to the Waffle House parking lot.”

From there, Carlisle said the driver got out of the Mustang and fled on foot into the woods behind the Waffle House with officers in pursuit, with the chase then continuing into the woods behind the Silo Shopping Center next door until officers eventually lost him.

Carlisle said at that point, a lookout was placed with the driver’s description.

“The next morning, he was located by the day shift officers at the McDonald’s again. At that time, they placed the suspect in custody,” Carlisle said.

Authorities arrested 20-year old James Jervon Nicholas O’Reilly of Takoma Park, Maryland.

He was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, failure to maintain a lane, obstruction of an officer, reckless driving, driving while unlicensed, and laying drag.

According to Carlisle, the Mustang he was driving was not his own, but was not stolen.

Carlisle said officers still aren’t sure why O’Reilly ran.

“The individual stated he was on the way back from spring break in Panama City, FL,” Carlisle said. “He said he had borrowed a friend’s car to get back to Maryland because he had to get back to work. He said he spun the tires in the McDonald’s parking lot because he didn’t realize the power of the vehicle. Just a young man using very poor judgment.”

Carlisle said O’Reilly bonded out and then continued on to Maryland.