AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A Richmond County woman is behind bars after stealing a car Thursday, June 6, and then evading authorities. The vehicle was stolen from the PPG Parking Lot on Walton Way, and law enforcement were able to get the Ford SUV to a stop on Bobby Jones Expressway about 30 minutes later.
Ron Williams, the owner of the stolen vehicle, tells FOX 54 he was on his way to eat at the Chef’s House when he accidentally hit someone’s car in the PPG Paints Parking Lot. What happened next is what he calls the most dramatic moment of his life. He said, “It was crazy.” He says he was standing next to his vehicle, on the phone with Richmond County Dispatch and exchanging insurance information with the other driver when he noticed his vehicle began to move. Williams recalls, "“It was like a movie scene. I was like, ‘What are you doing in my car? Get out of my car!” He says a woman jumped into his vehicle and took off down Walton Way. “I’m on the phone, ask law enforcement, ‘Look, this lady took my car! Can you please get law enforcement?” Williams said.
The sheriff’s office has identified that woman as 42-year-old Tinika L. Nattinger of Augusta.
According to the sheriff’s office’s incident report, deputies spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over. Nattinger refused to pull over and a chase ensued. Deputies chased the vehicle down Walton Way, through several side streets to Wrightsboro Rd., and eventually onto westbound Bobby Jones Expressway.
Williams said he was most concerned about his personal belongings inside the car, and making sure nobody was hurt. He said, “The first thing I wanted to ask, was she okay. They said yes, and then I wanted to get my stuff.” He said he is looking on the bright side of things, but is still shocked that this happened to him. Those who saw the incident said the same.
Georgia State Patrol troopers came in to assist and were able to stop the vehicle with a PIT maneuver. Williams said, “I thank God that I’m good and nobody got hurt. Law enforcement said they had to hit the car to stop it, she wasn’t trying to stop, so it could’ve been worse.” One of the deputies received a minor laceration to his hand while approaching the vehicle to take Nattinger into custody. She has been charged with felony motor vehicle theft and numerous traffic violations, including fleeing and eluding.
Williams said he will be driving a rental car for the time being, and has some advice for car owners everywhere. He said, "Don’t leave your car running. Don’t leave your keys in your car, and just keep watch of your surroundings.”