By Joe Johnson
A Madison County man was arrested this week after he used his minivan to ram an Athens man’s van in which his ex-wife was a passenger, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.
The incident was uncovered at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday by an officer who, while on routine patrol, found a bumper and other vehicle debris from a collision in the area of Prince Avenue and Chase Street, according to the report.
After removing the debris from the roadway, the officer was dispatched to the scene of another accident on Barber Street, the report noted.
The officer located the accident scene near the intersection of Barber and Tracy streets, where he found a Nissan Quest that was occupied only by its driver, 46-year-old Dennis Aaron Wells of Hull, who said that the other driver had fled the scene, according to the report.
When searching the area, the officer located a 53-year-old Athens man who related that he and Wells’ former wife had been together in his van that was parked outside of his residence, according to the report.
When Wells arrived at the scene, the Athens man drove off, knowing from past incidents that any interaction with Wells “would not have been civil,” the report states.
While driving away, Wells reportedly followed the other man’s Chrysler minivan, which Wells allegedly tried to cut off, causing a collision at Prince and Chase, where the officer had found the vehicle debris, according to the report.
The chase continued to Barber Street, where Wells’ van struck the other vehicle with such force that it spun around and crashed into a fence, according to the report. The man told the officer that he fled from the scene because he was concerned that Wells would inflict bodily harm on him.
Wells reportedly accused the other man of causing the collisions by “brake checking” several times as Wells followed. He said he did not call police to report the other man’s behavior because his phone fell when the initial collision occurred, according to the police report.
The report noted that Wells told the officer he drove to Athens after being informed by a third party that his ex-wife was in danger and being held against her will by the other man.
The 41-year-old woman was transported by ambulance to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and Wells was arrested and charged with aggressive driving, reckless driving, two counts of aggravated assault, and violation of parole that stemmed from a conviction for possession of methamphetamine, according to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.
Wells on Friday was being detained at the Clarke County Jail without bail for the parole violation and aggravated assault charges.
Anyone who is in an abusive relationship can seek advice and services by calling Project Safe’s 24-hour hotline at (706) 543-3331, or by visiting http://www.project-safe.org.