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Forsyth man indicted for speeding through school zone during pursuit
Gary Samples
Gary Lewis Samples.

A west Forsyth man was recently indicted for trying to escape arrest after he allegedly drove through a person’s front lawn, jumped a ditch and turned into oncoming traffic while speeding in a school zone during a police pursuit.

Gary Lewis Samples, 44, was indicted on three counts of fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of reckless driving stemming from an April 11 incident, according to a Forsyth County Superior Court June bill of indictment.

Around 3:30 p.m. that day, deputies were called out to a residence where the complainant stated Samples would not leave, an incident report said.

According to the report, when deputies arrived on scene, the complainant said Samples had a knife in his hand and “then said he was going to kill the cops,” but he then ran to his 1997 Mercury Mountaineer before deputies could stop him.

“The suspect drove through the front yard from the driveway and jumped a ditch at the front of the property,” the report said. “As he turned left onto Canton Highway (Hwy. 20) heading westbound, Samples was traveling in the center lane and continued towards the Spot Road Connector.

“[The deputy] followed Samples down [Hwy.] 20 into the school zone in front of Sawnee Elementary School … the school zone lights were flashing and, in front of the school, Samples drove into oncoming traffic.”

Other vehicles had to pull over to avoid being hit, as it was during the middle of school being let out, the report said.

Though Samples was able to successfully elude deputies during the chase, the sheriff’s office later received a call with his location, where they found him after he had “cut himself with a knife on the neck, arms and abdomen.”

He was transported to Northside Hospital-Forsyth for the abdominal stab wound and was held for evaluation due to the self-inflicted wounds, the report said.

In his car, deputies found a .45 magnum handgun and a 30-06 rifle, the indictment said.

Samples was previously convicted for terroristic threats — a felony —and felony probation violations, which was the cause for him being prohibited from carrying firearms.

At the time of the April incident, he had multiple warrants for his arrest for other felony charges.

He is currently being held in the Forsyth County Jail without bond.

Forsyth County Chief Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Bagley will preside over the case, for which no further dates have yet been set.