Traffic stop turns into vehicle pursuit

WOODVILLE – A Thursday afternoon traffic stop turned into a pursuit of a fleeing vehicle in Wilkinson County.

Thursday at approximately 4 p.m., a Mississippi state trooper attempted to make a traffic stop on a north-bound 2012 Chevrolet Impala for speeding on U.S. Highway 61 just south of Woodville. The vehicle failed to stop for blue lights and the siren and fled north.

Approximately eight miles north of Woodville near the Buffalo River bridge, three of the five occupants of the car jumped from the vehicle while it had slowed to about five miles to an hour, the trooper said.

One of the three, Destinee S. Rhodes, 23, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was injured and transported to Southwest Regional Medical Center in McComb, said SFC B.R. “Rusty” Boyd. public affairs officer with Troop M.

The other two, Ricardo M. Gilliam, 23, and Nuketa J. Smith, 23, both of Little Rock, were not injured, Boyd said.

The driver, Brandon O. Rhodes, 32, and a passenger, Antonio Charleston, also 32, both of Hamburg, Arkansas, continued north in the Impala on Highway 61, Boyd said.

A motorist who observed the incident contacted the Brookhaven Highway Patrol dispatcher and notified troopers that the vehicle had turned onto Hyde Park Road in north Wilkinson County.

The vehicle was located, and the two occupants fled on foot, troopers said. Charleston was taken into custody within just few minutes. Rhodes was found and arrested approximately an hour later and charged with felony fleeing along with numerous traffic violations.

None of the passengers have been charged with any violations at this time.

The group was traveling from New Orleans back to Arkansas after coming in from a cruise, Boyd said.