Charlton County, GA - Traffic Stop - Man In Handcuffs Steals Trooper's GEORGIA STATE PATROL Car - Crashed The Patrol Car - Escaped

May 8, 2016

onlineathens.com

A 26-year-old Gwinnett County man who has eluded capture by police in South Georgia and Florida managed to escape a manhunt last week in Northeast Georgia.

Roy Dwayne Ruis, 26, was almost captured twice last Thursday in Madison County but each time fled before officers arrived, authorities said Monday.

“We missed him by a couple of minutes at one home,” Madison County sheriff’s Lt. Jimmy Patton said. “We went to another location and I think he fled right before we got there.”

Sheriff’s deputies were assisting U.S. marshal’s agents from Savannah who had leads that Ruis was in the area.

Ruis is wanted in Charlton County on 19 criminal warrants stemming from his theft of a police car in Folkston, according to the marshal’s office.

“Anyone bold enough to do these types of crimes to law enforcement is definitely a danger to the community,” U.S. Marshal Supervisory Inspector Stewart Cottingham of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force said Monday.

In Madison County, deputies charged a 29-year-old Danielsville woman, Samantha Dawn Haggard, with hindering the apprehension of a criminal during the manhunt for Ruis, Patton said.

Haggard is alleged to have taken undisclosed items to Ruis at the Banks Crossing shopping area north of Commerce, which is the last known possible location of the suspect, according to Patton.

Haggard, who was also charged with possessing drugs, remained in the Madison County Jail on Monday with bond set at $10,000.

On April 22, a Georgia State Patrol trooper made a traffic stop in Charlton County on a vehicle driven by Ruis, who fled the officer on foot, Cottingham said. A K-9 unit was brought in and the dog tracked and located Ruis, who was arrested and placed in a Folkston Police Department patrol unit.

“He was able to slip off his cuffs and steal the patrol car,” Cottingham said. Ruis then crashed the car in a field off Willie B Harvey Road, which is west of Folkston, and again fled on foot, but this time he escaped capture despite another search.

A gun was missing from the patrol car, according to Folkston Police Chief Wesley Green.

Among the charges filed against Ruis are felony escape, theft of an auto, fleeing from police, interference with government property and possession of firearm during a crime, Cottingham said.

The Georgia State Parole Board also has a warrant for his arrest, and he is also wanted on an arson charge, Cottingham said.

After his escape, authorities received information that he was in Jacksonville, Fla., but he eluded capture there as well, Patton said.

“They’ve tracked him across two states,” he said.

Patton said local law enforcement is familiar with Ruis because back in 2008 he was a suspect in a number of thefts in Madison County.

During the manhunt in Madison County, a vehicle was stolen nearby in Elbert County, and deputies investigated to see whether Ruis was responsible, Patton said.

Authorities brought in tracking dogs and flew a helicopter last Thursday during the manhunt located along Georgia Highway 172 near the Elbert County line.

Law enforcement has urged the public not to approach Ruis but to call 911 if he is spotted.

He is a white male about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and has a Cadillac symbol tattooed on the back of his head.