Drug suspect arrested after high-speed chase

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

The arrest of a suspect on drug charges went awry Mondayafternoon when the man fled, leading law enforcement officers on ahigh-speed chase through the Bogue Chitto and Enterprise areas.

Sheriff Wiley Calcote said deputies were forced to use stopstrips and police interdiction techniques to stop the suspect afterhe sped past the Enterprise Attendance Center on flat tires,escalating the chase and endangering the public.

“They did a good job in stopping the vehicle,” Calcote said. “Wetried to stop him before he got to the school, but he had made hismind up that he wasn’t going to quit. Our biggest concern at thatpoint was the safety of the children and everyone at theschool.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The suspect’s name has been withheld pending an ongoinginvestigation.

Based on information gained during the investigation, LincolnCounty Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dustin Bairfield said two orthree unmarked cars and a marked car were preparing to stop thesuspect near the Pricedale-Hog Chain Road split when he realizedthe trap.

“When he saw the cars he decided to run,” Bairfield said.

Several other patrol cars joined in the high-speed pursuit thatended about 10 minutes later on Highway 583 near the Highway 84intersection.

Prior to the suspect getting to the school, stop strips had beendeployed, Bairfield said. The suspect hit the strips, but continuedto flee at high speed.

The sheriff became concerned that the chase would continue tojeopardize students on the buses, Bairfield said, and a stop pointwas established south of the last bus on Highway 583.

“We were to ram if necessary to prevent him from getting anycloser to the bus,” Bairfield said. “The safety of everyoneinvolved was of the utmost concern.”

Deputies also stopped traffic from Highway 84 from coming ontoHighway 583.

When the suspect continued north on Highway 583, “I knew therewas a school bus up ahead somewhere, so I gave the order to shuthim down,” Calcote said.

Deputies managed to force the suspect off the road at thatpoint, Bairfield said.

“At the very end, we had to box him in and force him off theroad. He was all over the road at that point, even though he wasonly going about 20 miles per hour at that point because his tireswere flat and he was riding on his rims,” he said.

Hog Chain volunteer firefighters were called to put out somesmall grass fires caused by sparks from the rims.

Bairfield said they couldn’t let the suspect go and issue awarrant later because “we didn’t want him to destroy the evidencewe needed to convict him.”

The suspect has been charged with possession of the precursorchemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and felonyfleeing from law enforcement officers. Other charges arepending.