Two arrested after Sunday chase

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M officials said there were noinjuries in an early Sunday chase that resulted in a patrol carbeing rammed, an accident, a manhunt and two arrests.

Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd said ThomasGatlin, 35, and Dennis Campbell, 24, both of Summit, were arrestedafter Gatlin refused to stop at a driver’s license checkpoint alittle before midnight on Saturday.

“It started in the edge of Amite County, and headed just out thewest edge of Pike County,” Boyd said. “It began when the suspectsapproached a checkpoint, and the vehicle eased through withoutstopping then ran.”

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Boyd said troopers pursued the vehicle and suspects, who ledthem through McComb and out Highway 98. When they reached the BogueChitto Water Park, Gatlin and Campbell turned on Dogwood Trailbefore turning around and ramming a patrol car.

The suspects then returned to Highway 98 where they went backwestbound, Boyd said. After turning south on Magnolia-HomesvilleRoad, the vehicle wrecked on Fernwood Road, and Campbell wasarrested on the scene and charged with public intoxication andresisting arrest.

“The driver went to the woods, so we searched for a while,” Boydsaid. “We knew who we were looking for, and the next day a tip camein to McComb police department that he was at his mother’sresidence on Louisiana Avenue in McComb.”

Gatlin was picked up Sunday and taken to the Pike County Jail.Boyd said he was charged with felony fleeing, aggravated assault ona police officer, driving with a suspended license and “numerousother traffic violations.”

Information was not immediately available on why Gatlin fled thecheckpoint.

“Gatlin told the passenger that he was not going to give up, hejust didn’t want to go to jail,” Boyd said.

Boyd said the chase lasted about 20 minutes altogether.