Buford man with pregnant passenger caught after ramming cars in high-speed chase | News

A 25-year-old Buford man was charged with aggravated assault against a police officer and several other offenses after he led deputies on a wild chase through Forsyth with a pregnant passenger on Aug. 8 around 12:39 a.m. 

 What happened according to the incident report was that deputy Christopher Marsh clocked a silver 2022 Subaru Outback SUV doing 97 mph near mile milepost 191 on I-75. When Marsh closed in to initiate a traffic stop, John Daemin Choi drove his SUV into the southbound weigh station at a high rate of speed. Marsh then activated his emergency lights and sirens, but Choi reentered the interstate with speeds climbing up to 120-130 mph. 

He continued weaving in and out of traffic until taking the North Lee Street exit, speeding down the ramp, unaware of the sharp right turn at the end of the ramp. The SUV then left the road and while Choi tried to make a left turn, he managed to jump the ditch and landed violently back on the road. He then nearly collided with 2 vehicles while getting back on the road causing drivers to swerve out of the way. 

Choi then continued down North Lee Street heading towards downtown Forsyth and Sgt. Todd Haskins joined in on the pursuit at North Lee Street and Russell Parkway. Dispatch said the suspect vehicle had a temporary GA which came back to a 2013 Subaru Outback. 

Choi turned right at the intersection of North Lee Street and Patrol Road running the red light and continuing towards the downtown square. He then turned right onto West Johnston Street and made another right onto Indian Springs Road, speeding through a residential area with complete disregard for public safety. Cpl. John Cochran joined the pursuit as Choi turned right onto Ensign Road in a reckless manner. 

While on Ensign Road, Choi rammed his SUV into the front end of Weaver’s patrol vehicle and then turned right onto Indian Springs Road. Cochran then successfully conducted a P.I.T. maneuver on the Subaru in front of Ink Wizard on the corner of Indian Springs Drive and Mize Street. Haskins, Cochran, and Marsh exited their patrol vehicles with their firearms pointed at the SUV and while the deputies were loudly commanding the two occupants of the vehicle to show their hands and exit the vehicle, Choi shifted into reverse and started backing up. The deputies then discharged several rounds and deflated the Subaru’s tires. 

Choi turned his car around and drove on flat tires back down Indian Springs Drive and right onto North Lee Street. This time at a much slower speed. Sgt. Chris Sherrell conducted a second P.I.T. maneuver on the Choi’s vehicle which spun it around, but Choi accelerated and rammed the front of Cochran’s patrol vehicle. He then drove into a ditch, finally stopping on the railroad tracks. 

Deputies approached the vehicle and removed both Choi and his female passenger Vivian Shim from the vehicle and handcuffed them. Choi continued to resist as deputies were apprehending him. The pair were secured in separate patrol units. 

Prenatal medication vitamins belonging to Shim were found in the SUV and she told Marsh she was 10 weeks pregnant. Marsh removed the handcuffs from behind her back and placed her in the rear seat of his vehicle. 

There were 2.7 ounces of marijuana found in several bags inside the center console and in the back seat. There was also a SAR9 pistol found on the front passenger floor within reach of the driver. Four marijuana cigarettes and 2 burnt marijuana cigarettes were in the center console area.

Choi admitted he was a convicted felon but said he did not know there was a firearm in the vehicle. 

Shim was released at the scene then taken to the jail lobby to wait for a ride. Choi was taken to jail and charged with obstruction, fleeing, assault against a peace officer, speeding, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, distributing marijuana, reckless conduct, and reckless driving.