Atlanta police have arrested the SUV driver who pursued and ran over a 50-year-old cyclist on June 9 in the Morningside area. Gregory Thomas Germani, who created the popular Atlanta Time Machine website, was found wedged under a silver SUV on Flagler Avenue after being run over by a red Dodge Nitro SUV that fled the scene. Germani spent weeks at Grady hospital in intensive care before being released to a rehab facility.
Joseph Alan Lewis, 19, was arrested late Wednesday and booked into the Fulton County jail. He will appear before a magistrate judge at 11 a.m. Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
A Crime Stoppers reward fund raised nearly $18,000. Police say a tip called into Crime Stoppers led them to Lewis' red Dodge Nitro.
Lewis’ girlfriend Shanelle Woodard, 22, also of Atlanta, was arrested Wednesday and charged with tampering with evidence, the AJC reports.
Witnesses told police they saw Germani riding his bicycle on Montgomery Ferry Road when he was "almost struck by a red SUV type vehicle turning from Flagler onto Montgomery Ferry Road."
Witnesses say Germani approached the driver of the SUV and "a verbal dispute followed."
Afterwards, witnesses saw the victim operating his bicycle down Flagler Ave at a high rate of speed. Seconds later, the red SUV was seen speeding down Flagler, as if in pursuit of the cyclist.
None of the witnesses saw the SUV strike the cyclist. But moments later, witnesses found the severely injured cyclist laying under a silver SUV along the curb on the 1800 block of Flagler Avenue.
Grainy surveillance video from a nearby home shows the cyclist operating his bicycling one way on Flagler. Moments later, the same cyclist is seen speeding in the opposite direction down Flagler with a red SUV in hot pursuit.
Lt. Rod Woody told the AJC police are positive that the Dodge Nitro impounded on June 23 was the one that hit Germani. Woody added that the Nitro is owned by Lewis. Evidence collected at the scene was later connected to the Dodge Nitro.
Germani was released from Grady hospital and is improving at a private rehab facility.
“He’s doing better,” his girlfriend, Beth Anne Harrill said Wednesday. “He is beginning to say some words and he is making gradual improvements each day but it is going to be a long, long, long recovery for him.”