An officer witnessed Charles Sapp get in the passenger seat of a van after leaving the scene of a knife fight in which another person and he were involved against another man. The officer tried to execute a traffic stop, but the driver fled. During the driver’s attempt at escaping, Mr. Sapp exited the vehicle and ran. The officer told him to halt, but he disobeyed. Mr. Sapp then approached the officer with clenched fists, prompting the officer to tase him.
Chatham Superior Court subsequently convicted Mr. Sapp of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. Georgia’s Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s decision, noting that “a passenger can be convicted as a party to the crime of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer if he flees the scene on foot after the police have stopped the fleeing vehicle.” During the trial, the officer offered testimony as such, and Mr. Sapp explained that fleeing was his intention. The Court pointed out that the evidence supported Mr. Sapp’s conviction.