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March 31, 2012

Man gets 30 years for dragging police officer

Other offenses included in sentence

DALTON — Following two days of trial and three hours of deliberation, a Whitfield County jury convicted a Dalton man Thursday evening of several crimes related to his dragging Dalton Police Officer Steven Collins with a vehicle.

Duandre Jamar Dorsey, 28, of 409 E. Hawthorne St., No. 8, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of the felony offense of serious injury by vehicle as well as the misdemeanors of DUI, reckless driving, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, giving a false name, escape and failure to yield right of way. Superior Court Judge Cindy Morris imposed the sentence.

According to the district attorney’s office:

Collins stopped Dorsey on Sept. 17 around 2 a.m. after observing erratic driving on Chattanooga Road. Dorsey had almost caused a wreck as he pulled out of the Oyster Pub parking lot. He gave Collins the false name of Delvin Dewayne Williams and produced a forged Georgia driver’s license. 

Collins determined that Dorsey was under the influence of alcohol and attempted to place him under arrest, but Dorsey resisted, struck Collins and attempted to escape in his vehicle.

“Trying to prevent the escape and to keep Dorsey from endangering the public further by driving under the influence, Officer Collins put himself at risk by reaching into the vehicle and attempting to disable the car and remove the keys from the ignition,” District Attorney Bert Poston said. “(But) Dorsey was able to put the vehicle in drive and accelerate out of the parking lot, dragging Officer Collins nearly 50 feet before Officer Collins was thrown from the vehicle.” 

Collins suffered a broken arm and dislocated shoulder as well as other less serious injuries, Poston said.

“Concerned citizens who had witnessed the incident rushed to aid the fallen officer until additional units and medical personnel could arrive on the scene,” he added.

 The police department launched a manhunt, led by Detectives John Helton and Jason Bishop. Dorsey’s vehicle was found within a couple of hours and Dorsey was arrested two days later. 

“Through their investigation, Detectives Helton and Bishop were able to locate a number of witnesses who placed Dorsey in the vehicle on the night of the incident, and were also able to obtain Dorsey’s DNA from inside the vehicle where Dorsey had received a minor cut while fighting with Officer Collins,” Poston said. “While recovering from his injuries, Officer Collins was also able to positively identify Dorsey from a photographic lineup and identified Dorsey at trial as the person he had attempted to arrest.”

 Following his arrest, Dorsey’s correct name was determined by fingerprint analysis and he was found to have an outstanding warrant for narcotics trafficking from Florida. Dorsey was denied bond and remained in custody until his trial this week.

Assistant District Attorneys Lee Miles and Ben Kenemer worked on the case, calling a dozen witnesses and presenting 89 exhibits as evidence. Dorsey was represented by local attorney Jerry Moncus and did not testify, call any witnesses nor present any evidence in his own defense, Poston said.

Collins has mostly recovered from his injuries, although with some loss of mobility in his shoulder, Poston noted. After working on light duty for several months, he returned to active duty as a patrol officer on March 10.

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