Police in Clayton County are actively searching for the man they say ran over an officer with his truck on Wednesday.
Clayton County Police Officer Michael Hooks remains in serious condition, but is improving.
It all started when police got a call about suspected metal thieves who were lifting scrap pieces from an abandoned K-Mart.
Hooks responded and gave chase, but was run down by a black truck police say was driven by Thomas Paige, 36.
CBS Atlanta News learned Paige is a career criminal with dozens of previous charges against him.
Late Wednesday night, DeKalb County SWAT officers and U.S. Marshals surrounded a home where they thought Paige might have been hiding, but the home they surrounded in a subdivision at Wellbourn Road and Cedar Croft Lane was empty.
Police said the call might have been a hoax that cost them valuable time they could have spent looking for Paige.
"I'm hearing that somebody has somebody hostage," said Kevin Lewis, who lives in the Lithonia neighborhood.
The police activity kept anyone from coming or going in the community.
"We went home and then we went up to the store and we came back; we couldn't get back into the neighborhood," said stranded neighbor Denise Whitaker.
DeKalb County police are trying to figure out who made the 911 call that sent them to the Lithonia neighborhood. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 11 p.m.
Another man involved, Jabari Akil Jackson, 33, was arrested after he tried to run from police.
Jackson was charged with loitering, prowling and obstruction.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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