Justin Nieman

Nieman, Justin Thomas

Date of Booking:

Reason(s) For Booking:











Officer’s Narrative:
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]

[NARRATIVE #1 on February 9, 2023]

On February 9th, 2023, at around 3:20 pm, I was driving my marked Oconee County Sheriff’s Office patrol car westbound on University Parkway approaching the off-ramp for Monroe Highway when I saw a black Ford Focus GA Tag [REDACTED] traveling westbound ahead of me. The Focus was in the left lane about 5 cars ahead of me. The driver of the Focus was tailgating the car ahead of him and swerving back and forth within the lane.

It appeared the driver was in a rush and was looking to get around the slower car in front of him. When we neared the off-ramp for Monroe Highway, the driver of the Focus suddenly swerved to the right and took the off-ramp. There was a line of cars stopped at the traffic light at the top of the ramp. The driver of the Focus drove into the right shoulder and continued up the ramp to the open right turn lane.

The driver did not stop at the intersection and pulled out directly in front of a Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy Day along with a second car who were both driving northbound on Monroe Highway. The deputy had to brake to avoid hitting the Focus. I activated my overhead blue emergency lights and sirens to catch up to the Focus. The Focus pulled into the left turn lane directly in front of Power Brick (2100 Monroe Highway) and it appeared that the driver was going to stop in the turn lane.

I turned off the siren but kept my overhead blue emergency lights activated. The driver of the Focus did not stop and U-turned heading south on Monroe Highway. While making the U-turn, I saw the driver, Justin Nieman, was the sole occupant of the car. Nieman turned right to get back onto University Parkway and accelerated away. I pursued Nieman with my overhead blue lights and sirens activated.

Deputy Mines was at the intersection when Nieman began to flee from me. Deputy Mines took the 2nd position in the pursuit of Nieman. Nieman accelerated up to 110 miles per hour on University Parkway. The speed limit in this area is posted at 65 mph. After passing McNutt Creek Road and as we were approaching Dials Mill Road, Nieman drove into the right shoulder and passed a pickup truck.

Nieman turned right onto Dials Mill Extension. Nieman crossed over the double yellow line to pass another vehicle. Nieman accelerated up to 90 mph and continued on Dials Mill Extension until it ended at Craft Road inside Barrow County. Nieman ran the stop sign and turned right onto Craft Road. Nieman ran the stop sign on Craft Road and turned left onto Atlanta Highway heading towards the City of Statham.

On Atlanta Highway, Nieman passed multiple vehicles by crossing onto the wrong side of the road. Near the intersection of Atlanta Highway and Hayes Lake Road, Nieman drove onto the shoulder again to pass vehicles. We continued on Atlanta Highway into the City of Statham. At the intersection of Atlanta Highway and Jefferson Street, Nieman drove onto the wrong side of the road to pass two more vehicles.

Nieman continued on Atlanta Highway heading towards the City of Winder with his speeds ranging between 80 and 100 miles per hour. Nieman passed multiple vehicles on Atlanta Highway by crossing over onto the wrong side of the road. At Atlanta Highway and Hog Mountain Road, Nieman drove into the right turn lane and did not stop for the red light at the intersection.

Nieman continued on Atlanta Highway towards Winder. At the intersection of Atlanta Highway and Lighthouse Drive, Sgt. Dudley was stopped with spike strips deployed in the roadway. Nieman slowed and then swerved onto the shoulder to avoid the spike strips. At the intersection of Atlanta Highway and May Street, Nieman again did not stop for a red light and continued westbound on Atlanta Highway.

Nieman pulled into the Chevron parking lot located at 220 May Street. He drove around traffic and re-entered Atlanta Highway continuing westbound. As we were approaching the intersection of Atlanta Highway and E Athens Street, two Barrow County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars were coming towards us. Nieman turned into the Popeyes’ parking lot located at 126 E May Street. Nieman cut through the parking lot and emerged onto E Athens Street.

Nieman continued on E Athens Street towards Broad Street at around 70 mph. Nieman turned right onto Broad Street nearly striking a car in the intersection. Due to traffic on Broad Street, Nieman’s speed was greatly reduced, and he turned left onto W Candler Street. Nieman accelerated up to 70 mph and continued on Candler Street. Nieman did not stop for 3 stop signs on Candler and continued accelerating towards the Winder-Barrow High School, Richard B Russell Jr. Middle School, and Winder Elementary School.

Barrow County Sheriff’s Deputies had shut down traffic in front of the schools. Nieman continued past the schools at over 80 miles per hour. Nieman did not stop for the stop sign at Candler and Ridgeway Street or the sign at Candler and Hal Jackson Road. Candler Street turned into City Pond Road and Nieman continued on City Pond Road at around 90 mph. Before Rockwell Church Road, the road curved to the right with an old cut-through continuing straight.

Nieman drove around the closed road barricades and turned left onto Rockwell Church Road. Nieman continued on Rockwell Church Road to Highway 211 where he made a right turn. Nieman continued on Highway 211 at over 100 mph before he tried to turn right onto Will Maynard Road. Due to his speed, Nieman was unable to complete the turn and went off the road into a ditch. Nieman damaged the radiator of the Focus, and it was leaking fluid all over the roadway.

Nieman continued up Will Maynard and at the next curve, Nieman lost control going into a field. Nieman continued into the field towards the back wooded area. I continued pursuing Nieman through the field and near the back wood line. I attempted to box Nieman in using my patrol car to prevent him from trying to go back to the road. I saw Nieman unbuckling his seat belt as if he was going to run from the car on foot.

Nieman drove into the woods and I stopped my patrol car just outside. Nieman was driving around through the heavily wooded area until he crashed into a tree. Nieman ran from the car heading deep into the woods. Deputy Mines was catching up to him until they both jumped a barbed wire fence. When I caught up to them Nieman had fallen and Deputy Mines had his taser deployed if he tried to run again.

I took Nieman into custody and detained him in handcuffs. I searched Nieman incident to arrest, and we walked him back to our patrol cars. To get over the barbed wire fence, we had Nieman lay on top of a part of a wood fence. Barrow County Deputies pulled him while I pushed his legs over the fence. I had Nieman sit in the backseat of my patrol car. I read him the Miranda Advisement from my agency-issued Miranda Card.

Nieman told me that he was a drug runner for a Mexican drug cartel and that he owes them about $4000. That is why he ran and did not stop. He claimed that they had been after him and he already reported all of this to a detective in Gwinnett County. He was unable to remember the detective’s name. He told me that he was driving around with one of the cartel members in the car.

I told him I did not see anyone else inside the car except for him. He then stated he dropped the cartel member named “Abe” off in Athens earlier that morning. He also told me the car belonged to a member of the cartel, and he was not sure where it had come from. While speaking with Nieman, I saw his pupils were extremely constricted. It was overcast and not extremely bright, but Nieman’s eyes were pinpoints.

Nieman told me he had last smoked Methamphetamine earlier that morning. He also had overdosed on Fentanyl a few days prior. I used a flashlight and shined it across his eyes. Nieman’s pupils did not adjust to the light in any way, and it appeared Nieman was under the influence of a narcotic. Nieman wanted to give me information on drug dealers in exchange for him to be released without any charges.

Trooper Mathews from the Georgia State Patrol interviewed Nieman about the collision. After the interview, I read Nieman the implied consent notice from my state-issued implied consent card. Nieman agreed to provide a sample of his blood for state-administered testing. Deputy Mines remained at the screen to have the Focus towed from the scene.

While inventorying the Focus, he discovered multiple items belonging to a female. He was able to speak with this female and discovered that her Focus had actually been stolen in Athens while she was at work. For further information, see Deputy Mines’ supplemental report along with Officer Young’s report from Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Officer Young’s case number is 2023-02090185.

I spoke with Deputy Johnson from Barrow County Sheriff’s Office who told me that he would be taking out relevant charges on Nieman for the pursuit portions that occurred in Barrow County. His case number is 2023-00008834. I transported Nieman to St. Mary’s Healthcare System in Athens for the blood draw.

While on the way to the hospital, Nieman complained about passing out. He would lean his head over and pretend to pass-out multiple times. Each time I would see he was still breathing, and a few seconds later, he would look back up at me complaining about passing out. At the hospital, Nieman requested to be evaluated by a doctor due to the car wreck.

While speaking with Dr. [REDACTED] in the Emergency Room, Nieman lied about his condition stating that he had been vomiting everywhere after the crash. Dr. [REDACTED]’ evaluated Nieman and cleared him to be booked into the jail. Phlebotomist [REDACTED] drew two samples of Nieman’s blood and sealed them inside a GBI Blood Alcohol/Toxicology Kit. I collected the sealed kit.

I transported Nieman to the Oconee County Jail where he was booked in. During the booking process inside the jail, Nieman told Jailer Bodie that he had Methamphetamine concealed in his left sock. I removed two bags of a white crystal substance from Nieman’s sock. This substance was consistent with Methamphetamine. Due to the potential of it also containing Fentanyl, I did not field test the crystal substance.

The Blood Alcohol / Toxicology Kit along with the white crystal substance were later booked into evidence at the sheriff’s office using evidence locker #5. I obtained warrants for Nieman for felony fleeing and attempting to elude, obstruction, felony theft by receiving stolen property, and possession of Methamphetamine. I issued Nieman citations for DUI-Drugs, reckless driving, failure to yield, following too closely, and speeding.

[End of Narrative]

[NARRATIVE #2 on February 9, 2023]

On Thursday, February 9, 2023, at approximately 3:23 p.m., I, Deputy D. Mines assisted Deputy Ogan with a vehicle pursuit. Deputy Ogan attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Monroe Highway just East of University Parkway on a black 2013, Ford Focus, bearing Georgia registration number [REDACTED]. The Ford Focus failed to yield to traffic on Monroe Highway as it was exiting University Parkway Westbound.

As Deputy Ogan attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the Ford, it failed to yield. The Ford then made a U-turn on Monroe Highway traveling Westbound on Monroe Highway before entering onto University Parkway Westbound. The Ford continue fleeing entering into Barrow County. The Ford eventually entered a field off of Will Maynard Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The Ford attempted to do a circle around the field but was unable to do so. The driver then drove the Ford into a wood line before the Ford came to a stop. The driver of the Ford then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The driver was later identified as Justin Nieman. Nieman exited the Ford and fled on foot deeper into the woods.

As Nieman was running on foot, he was given verbal commands to stop running. Nieman then approached a barbwire fence. Nieman attempted to jump over the fence but fail. Once Nieman jumped the fence he fell to the ground. Once Nieman jumped the fence, I deployed my county issued taser 7 (serial number X4000K7X7).

The taser probes did not strike Nieman. Nieman continued fleeing on foot. Nieman then fell to the ground while still attempting to run away from me. Nieman remained on the ground with his hands out at this point. Nieman stayed on the ground until Deputy Ogan arrived at our location. Deputy Ogan then handcuffed, double locked and searched Nieman incident to arrest. Nieman was then turned over to Deputy Ogan on scene.

During a vehicle inventory of the Ford the following items were located: 7 checks, 1 social security, 1 pay stub, medical records, one United Bank Debt Card and 65 Citalopram HBR 40MG tablets. All of these items had the victims information on it. Under the driver’s seat a glass pipe with residue inside of it was located. A white paper containing an unknown substance was located on the front passenger side by Sergeant Dudley.

The victim was contacted via telephone. The victim informed me that the Ford was registered to her stepfather. The victim stated she was at work in Clarke County at this time and that her vehicle should be outside her place of employment. The victim walked outside and realized her vehicle was no longer at her place of employment. The victim was then informed to contact Athens-Clarke County Police Department in reference to her vehicle being stolen. See Athens-Clarke County case number 202302090185.

Wilson’s Towing removed the Ford from the scene. A vehicle inventory form was completed and is attached. Property receipts was completed for all items located and are attached. Photographs of the items located were taken by Crime Scene Investigator Groves. Georgia State Patrol completed a crash report where the Ford crashed inside of the woods. See Georgia State Patrol Case number: C000869262.

Deputy Ogan transported Nieman to Oconee County Jail after completing a blood draw at St. Mary’s Hospital. Nieman was turned over to the jail staff without incident. I will be obtaining warrants through Oconee County Magistrate Court on Nieman for Felony Fleeing and Eluding and Obstruction.

[End of Narrative]