Baxley, GA — Police work has long been a cat and mouse game, but for one Georgia man, his decision to run from the police on his motorcycle quickly turned into a fight for his life. It all began when police attempted to pull 23-year-old Mathew Jared Schantz over for driving without a license plate.
The chase ended at a roadblock on Hwy. 341 when then Appling Co. Sheriff “Mr. Benny” Deloach (below) shot Schantz in the face with 12-gauge buckshot.
In an exclusive interview, Schantz told The Free Thought Project that while he now regrets running from police, when the encounter occurred on June 17, 2016, he had just bought the bike and “didn’t want to be hassled” because he did not have a license plate.
He took off quickly to get away from pursuing officers, and thought he had lost them—but they quickly tailed him. Schantz said he lost them again, but the chase continued for quite some time. In a written statement he told TFTP:
“It was roughly 30 miles but I wasn’t actively being pursued the whole time. I lightly ran for about 2 miles then tried to slow down (thinking they quit chasing me) but took off when I noticed they were still chasing. Lost them. Then came up on a road block about 25 miles down the road.”
“In the State of Georgia, approximately 585 people have been killed in high-speed chases since 1979, the report indicated. Of that total, 342 were fleeing drivers, 239 were non-violators and four were law enforcement employees.”
“They violated their own no-chase policy by pursuing me. They set up a road block. When I stopped, they shot me in the face with a shotgun. (12 gauge buckshot, not a beanbag).”
“Per the GBI report, 7 cars had running dash cams. EVERY single one stated their cams ‘malfunctioned.’ The truck that would have captured the shooting on video was supposed to have 8 segments of video but only 7 were recovered. They have before the shooting and after. They deleted the video of the shooting.”
“They kept my Apple Watch & iPhone out of fear that I was recording. (they said they lost my property).”
“Pretty rough to be honest. I developed severe post traumatic stress disorder. My jaw had to be reconstructed. (I had) 3 teeth implanted. Plus I still have 3 pellets in me.”
The young man said he was unarmed, had no warrants for his arrest, and believes Sheriff Deloach abused his badge when he attempted to kill him for fleeing from the officers. Adding insult to serious injuries, Schantz was charged with felony eluding, posted $17,000 bail, and is due in court on December 5.
“I certainly realize I shouldn’t have ran. It was stupid. My problem is them shooting me for running away. Then covering it up by lying and deleting videos.”
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