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Conyers chase suspect arrested in Newton

CONYERS -- A man who allegedly led Conyers Police Department officers on a chase and sideswiped the police chief's car has been arrested by the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

Mario Lynch, 25, of 1765 McCollum Road, Conyers, was arrested Thursday at his mother's house on Ga. Highway 142 in Newton County. Officers went to the house following up on an anonymous tip from a woman who reportedly said "there aren't many moms who would turn their son away."

Officers obtained Lynch's mother's name from previous booking paperwork at the RCSO where she was listed as an emergency contact and then got her address from the Newton County Sheriff's Office. RCSO deputies went to the address and spoke with the suspect's mother, who said she was worried about her son's health because he is diabetic. Deputies convinced her that he would receive treatment at the jail, and she allowed them inside the house where they found Lynch asleep on the floor in the living room. He was arrested without incident.

Lynch was the subject of a police chase and manhunt Wednesday after he was identified as a suspect in a shoplifting at T.J. Maxx on Ga. Highway 138.

Officers with the Conyers Police Department pursued Lynch, who was driving a red Pontiac Grand Am north on Ga. Highway 138, with the suspect weaving in and out of traffic and causing at least one traffic accident.

Lynch allegedly traveled to the intersection of Ga. Highway 138 and Old Salem Road where he turned right and encountered Police Chief Gene Wilson, who was coming from the opposite direction and who tried to cut off the suspect.

Lynch allegedly switched lanes and was heading toward Wilson's vehicle head-on but sideswiped him and kept going.

The suspect was pursued by officers from CPD and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office to the area of Salem Road and Buchanan Estates where he jumped from his car and ran into nearby woods.

During a search of the area, officers spoke with a resident who identified Lynch from a surveillance photo taken at T.J. Maxx. Another resident told officers that Lynch hung out in the area all the time but did not live there. She said he lived out of his car and slept in the car parked in other people's driveways.

Lynch has been charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer, hit and run, felony fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, and misdemeanor shoplifting. He also had two outstanding warrants for failure to appear.