Johnathan L. Mace, a suspected child predator, is in custody after he tried escaping capture in a vehicle, striking a Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy and nearly running over others. 

The struck CPSO deputy was uninjured during the incident.

Mace, 31, of 800 Martin Luther King Ave., Vidalia, was arrested and charged with computer aided solicitation of a minor, indecent behavior with juveniles, aggravated assault on a police officer and felony criminal damage to property.

On May 17, approximately 9 p.m., CPSO detectives were conducting an operation relative to a 31-year-old subject, who had made contact with a minor online for sexual purposes, according to CPSO reports. Mace sent lewd photos, requesting the same in return and made plans to meet the juvenile at the Vidalia Riverfront Tuesday night. 

Upon his arrival on the riverfront, detectives made contact with Mace after he parked, ordering him out of the vehicle, according to CPSO reports. Refusing to exit the vehicle, he placed the vehicle in reverse with the driver side door open. 

Mace’s vehicle then accelerated backwards at a high rate of speed, ramming a police vehicle, striking one deputy and narrowly missing others. 

Due to the use of deadly force against deputies, shots were fired, at which time the vehicle was disabled, and Mace was placed under arrest. Further investigation revealed the subject had been residing in a camper trailer on the Vidalia riverfront for around one year. 

The investigation remains ongoing and further charges are pending.

“When a sex offender victimizes a child, that child carries the pain and suffering with them for their entire life,” said Sheriff David Hedrick. “The family as a whole, suffers when a child is victimized.”

“As your Sheriff, I refuse to allow child victimization and illegal narcotics that plaque our community to go unaddressed,” he added. “I assure the citizens of our parish that I and the CPSO Deputies would rather take this fight to the sex offenders and to the illegal drug distributers so that our families do not have to combat this in their homes. I would rather fight this criminal element in the streets to help preserve our families way of life. Our families should not have to deal with these issues alone. It's past time to take a hard stand for our family and their right to enjoy a peaceful life.

Myself and the CPSO deputies humbly serve all Concordia Parish citizens. I want the residents of our parish to know that my God is first in my life, followed by my wife, family and the citizens of our parish. I will never stop fighting for the citizens of Concordia Parish.’

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