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Decatur detective escapes unharmed from 2nd brush with danger, police say

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Footage from a squad car camera shows a Sept. 15 incident in the 1200 block of East Prairie Street. Andre D. Cross Jr. is accused of accelerating his vehicle at Decatur Police Street Crimes detective Jason Hesse, who was attempting to deploy tire deflation devices to stop Cross, who police say had fled from them. Police say Cross, who pleaded not guilty, was caught after a second vehicle chase topping speeds of 90mph.

DECATUR — A Decatur detective who prosecutors say a suspect tried to kill by driving his car at him had a second escape from injury a month later when police say his vehicle was rammed by a fleeing drug dealer.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur Police said the latest brush with danger happened the night of Oct. 15 while Detective Jason Hesse, a member of the department’s Street Crimes Unit, was part of a team of officers keeping a stolen sport utility vehicle under surveillance.

The affidavit, signed by Hesse, said after other officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle by pulling in front of it, the 37-year-old driver slammed his vehicle into reverse.

“(He) backed his vehicle into an unmarked Street Crimes Detectives’ vehicle operated by Detective Hesse, then proceeded to place the vehicle into drive and flee in a west direction,” the affidavit said. “The damage to the unmarked police vehicle was estimated at more than $300.”

Hesse said a vehicle pursuit followed in which the driver’s car tires were shredded after police deployed tire deflation spikes. But the driver drove on, crashing into a parked car in the driveway of a house in the 1600 block of East Wood Street before plowing into the home itself, which was occupied by two adults and two young children, police report.

Hesse said the driver fled on foot and “was ultimately taken into custody in the south alley of 1600 East Wood Street after multiple (stun gun) deployments.”

The man’s car was found to hold 4.8 grams of field-tested positive methamphetamine and another 18 grams of a meth look-alike substance, along with a box of sandwich bags. Hesse said the amount of the drug and the bags indicated meth dealing.

The driver, who police said was on parole after previously being convicted of meth possession, was booked on preliminary charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding police, resisting police, dealing in meth and a meth look-alike substance, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving while revoked. He remained in the Macon County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $80,000, meaning he must post a bond of $8,000 to be freed.

Cross

Cross

Also being held in the jail is Andre D. Cross Jr., 25, the driver charged with trying to ram and kill Hesse. Dramatic police video obtained by the Herald & Review in that incident shows the vehicle speeding towards Hesse after an attempted traffic stop the night of Sept. 15.

This footage comes from the body camera of Decatur Police Street Crimes detective Jason Hesse, taken Sept. 15 in the 1200 block of East Prairie Street. Hesse was in an unmarked squad car, preparing to get out of the vehicle and deploy tire deflation devices. The squad car was in front of a vehicle that authorities say was driven by Andre D. Cross Jr., who has pleaded not guilty to trying to murder Hesse. Footage shows Hesse jumping clear as the other vehicle accelerates forward, striking the squad car's passenger door. READ MORE HERE.

Hesse is seen jumping clear just in time as the vehicle hits the open door of the unmarked squad car Hesse had just climbed out of.

Cross is pleading not guilty to attempted murder, two counts of committing armed violence and being a felon in possession of a weapon. His bail is set at $1 million.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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