Around 1 a.m. Monday, the Marion County Sheriff's Office received a call that a man, later identified as Chad Venezia, 43, of Purvis, had stolen a vehicle in Lamar County and had fled into Marion County where he caused widespread havoc. The Sheriff's Office and the Columbia Police Department set up to intercept the vehicle, but as they attempted to stop him, he fled.
During the chase, he cut through a yard and tore down a fence belonging to Columbia Academy. He then drove around the CA football field, causing some damage. He got back out onto Friendship Church Road and went back onto U.S. 98 traveling in the wrong lane of traffic. He cut through the Shell parking lot toward Dirt Cheap where he struck three patrol cars, two county and one city. One deputy who was struck was taken to the hospital and released with no injuries. Two CPD officers were also taken to the hospital and released with minor injuries.
The man then attempted to flee down Mississippi 13 South, but his vehicle was too disabled from all of the crashes.
Venezia was taken into custody without further incident. He has been charged with disorderly conduct: failure to comply with the command of law enforcement, DUI: first offense-(1)(b) under the influence of any substance that would impair, felony eluding law officer-driving recklessly, malicious mischief value>$1,000, resisting/obstructing arrest and four counts of aggravated assault on police or emergency personnel.
He also has charges pending in Lamar County.