A Florida man in a new Cadillac allegedly led police on a harrowing, high-speed chase through two counties Thursday morning on Interstate 95, reaching speeds in excess of 140 mph, passing cars in the emergency lanes, and avoiding stop sticks meant to puncture his tires.
In the end, 34-year-old Michael Roderick simply pulled over just north of the Dover Bluff Road exit in southern Glynn County, ending a chase that began 34 miles north of there in McIntosh County, said Sgt. Chad Grey, Commander of Georgia State Patrol’s Brunswick Post. Grey said the frightened pleas of Roderick’s two passengers, a woman and another man, apparently influenced his decision to stop.
Grey was behind the car when it finally stopped at 9:59 a.m. Moments earlier, surrounding traffic caused Grey to decide against attempting a bumping maneuver to disable the speeding vehicle.
“They were begging and pleading with him to stop,” Grey said. “I think that’s what helped him finally make up his mind. Because that’s what he did. He just pulled over and stopped, which is what he should have done in the first place.”
Roderick was turned over to McIntosh County Sheriff’s deputies. He remains in the county jail there, charged with DUI, speeding, fleeing and attempting to elude, driving too fast for conditions, failure to use due care, reckless driving, running a stop sign and driving with a suspended license, said Maj. Danny Lowe of the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office.
No charges had been filed Thursday afternoon against the two passengers, he said. However, the investigation continues and additional charges could be pending, Lowe said. Troopers found identification cards and “financial cards that didn’t belong to any of them,” Grey said. The Cadillac XTS four-door sedan out of Pasco County, Fla., did not belong to Roderick or his two passengers, although it had not been reported stolen, Lowe said. The license plate on it belonged to another vehicle.
“He was reckless the whole time, passing on both shoulders,” Grey said. “He was going over 140 mph on several occasions. He almost hit my patrol vehicle and he almost caused a couple of crashes with other vehicles.”
The chase began at 9:44 a.m. when a sheriff’s deputy tried to stop the vehicle for speeding southbound on I-95 near Eulonia in central McIntosh County. The Cadillac sped away, with the deputy giving chase. Roderick allegedly drove off the interstate at Exit 49 in McIntosh County, long enough to run a stop sign before returning to the interstate’s southbound lanes, Lowe said.
State troopers in Glynn County were notified of the speeding car’s pending approach, Grey said. Troopers placed stop sticks north of the I-95 exit with Golden Isles Parkway, but the Cadillac sped past on the opposite side, Grey said.
State troopers continued to pursue the Cadillac south through Glynn County from there. Emergency radio communications indicated the vehicle reached speeds of more than 135 mph and then in excess of 140 mph, using the emergency lanes repeatedly to pass motorists caught up in the incident.
Grey at one point positioned his car to execute a PIT maneuver, using the patrol car to bump the suspect vehicle and send it into a disabling spin. Grey determined there were too many motorists on that stretch of interstate to safely perform the maneuver.
Roderick stopped moments later, just north of the Camden County line.
“The female, during the pursuit, she kept throwing up her hands, motioning to me,” Grey said. “The best decision he made all day was to pull over. I’m just thankful nobody got hurt.”