Conyers couple accused of firing at passing car on interstate

CONYERS — A Conyers couple has been arrested after they allegedly fired a BB gun at another motorist attempting to pass them on the interstate.

The victim told Conyers police that she was traveling in a Dodge Neon eastbound on Interstate 20 around 7 a.m. July 14 when she attempted to pass a Toyota Tundra that was driving more slowly in the fast lane.

The driver of the Tundra then sped up and would not allow her to pass. The driver and his passenger both “’shot her a bird’ and continued to travel in the left lane,” the incident report states. The truck then moved across the lanes and travelled in the right lane. As it passed the victim’s car, she said she hear three or four “pings” down the passenger side of her vehicle.

The victim slowed down and followed the truck as it exited at West Avenue. The two vehicles pulled into the Shell gas station where the victim noticed what appeared to be several gun shots in the side of her car. She spoke with 48-year-old Gerard Leonard Grace, the driver of the Tundra, who allegedly agreed to meet her at the Conyers Police Department a few blocks away on Scott Street.

The victim followed behind Grace’s Tundra on Dogwood Drive, but when Grace did not turn onto Scott Street, she contacted 911.

Grace then traveled to Ga. Highway 138 where he drove onto Old Salem Road into the parking lot of The Wash Rack car wash.

“It travelled to the end of the parking lot near the last stall and stopped for several moments,” the incident report states. “The Tundra then exited the parking lot and traveled south on Highway 20/138 again.”

Police officers located the Tundra near Miller Chapel Road and pulled it over in the Kirkland’s parking lot.

Cpl. T. Smith began speaking with the passenger, Kayla Marie Rodriguez, 21, while another officer spoke with Grace. Rodriguez told the officer that the Dodge Neon was in their blind spot as they were attempting to change lanes on the interstate and her car must have been damaged by road debris.

“As I spoke with Rodriguez, I could see a small plastic bottle that contained BB’s sitting in the driver’s door of the Tundra,” Smith reported. “I began to ask her where the BB gun was at. As I was asking her about the BB gun, Gerald Grace then spoke up and advised there was no BB gun in the vehicle. He advised if he did have a BB gun in the vehicle, then it did not work.”

Smith then spoke with the victim and noticed three identifiable marks on her passenger side doors that were “clearly caused by BB’s being shot at the vehicle” and a fourth mark that was likely also due to a BB shot, the report states.

The officer returned to the Tundra and told them to tell the truth. Both Grace and Rodriguez continued to deny that they shot a BB gun.

“Rodriguez even jumped out of the truck angrily as if she was going to attack me,” Smith reported.

The officer searched the truck and found a pellet/BB rifle that did not appear that it could rapidly fire several shots.

In the meantime, another officer was searching the area of The Wash Rack on Old Salem Road. She contacted Officer Smith and said she found a BB pistol hidden inside a piece of equipment known as a “lot sweeper” behind the last stall, where the victim reported seeing the Tundra briefly stop.

Smith then attempted to place handcuffs on Grace, but he “resisted arrest by tightening his arms and pulling away from me. He initially refused to give me his left hand as well,” the report states.

Rodriguez also tried to stop the officer from arresting Grace and had to be pulled away by another officer at the scene, according to the report.

“As Cpl. Searcy attempted to place Rodriguez under arrest, she continued to struggle and ultimately laid down on the ground behind the Tundra. As she was a large female, Cpl. Searcy had to wait until she stopped flailing around on the ground in order to place her in handcuffs,” Smith stated.

Grace and Rodriguez, both of 1509 Melody Ridge Court, were each charged with giving false statements and obstruction of officers. Grace was also charged for criminal damage to property, terroristic threats and acts, pointing a pistol at another, tampering with evidence, simple assault, reckless conduct and aggressive driving.