Early-morning chase lands fleeing man in jail

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Bogalusa man was arrested early Sunday morning, after leading deputies on a high-speed chase through Washington Parish at night, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Haley said that WPSO Patrol Deputy Jay Dupre was sitting stationary in his patrol vehicle and running radar on Section Line Road near Franklinton High School after midnight on the morning of Sunday, March 25, when a vehicle passed him traveling at 70 mph on the 35 mph stretch of road. Dupre attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver failed to yield, Haley said.

Haley said that the driver ran the stop sign at the intersection of Section Line Road and Louisiana Highway 10, heading east on Highway 10. With lights flashing and his siren activated, Dupre pursued the fleeing driver at a high rate of speed until the driver lost control, spun 180 degrees and landed in the opposite ditch, Haley said.

As Dupre exited the patrol vehicle, the driver also exited his vehicle and attempted to flee. Dupre was able to subdue the driver, at which time Lt. Terry Harris arrived on the scene and assisted in placing the driver in handcuffs, Haley said.

Haley said that while they were conducting a lawful search of the driver and his vehicle, the deputies discovered marijuana, ecstasy pills and digital scales that are used to weigh drugs. A .380 pistol was discovered where the driver either dropped or tossed it as he exited the vehicle.

The handcuffed driver was placed in the rear seat of Dupre’s patrol vehicle, at which time the driver manipulated the handcuffs from the rear to the front of his body and attempted to escape from the vehicle, Haley said. Harris and Sgt. Jimmy Seals, who had arrived at the scene, were able to prevent the driver’s attempted escape and secure him back in the vehicle.

The driver, Harry Pharmasteen Scott, 21, a resident of Union Avenue in Bogalusa, was transported to the Washington Parish Jail and charged with 11 offenses. They were speeding 31-40 miles per hour above the speed limit, running a stop sign, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer, possession with intent to distribute Schedule I drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of Schedule I drugs, attempted escape, no driver’s license, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of controlled dangerous substances with a weapon present.

Scott’s bond was set by a court magistrate at $125,000. He remains in the Washington Parish Jail.

Haley noted that Scott has one previous stay in the Washington Parish Jail. He was arrested in October of 2014 and spent two days in jail before posting a $25,000 bond for his release. He was charged with accessory after the fact to a felony.

“When anyone flees a deputy in a manner as Mr. Scott did, it is obvious he was not on his way to church for a Sunday morning men’s breakfast,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “In such situations, deputies have no idea who is fleeing or whether they are wanted for a previous crime or a fugitive from another jurisdiction. There is no way to tell how many persons are in the vehicle or whether or not a weapon is present.

“Our officers are always at risk when making night-time stops and I commend Deputy Dupre, Lt. Harris and Sgt. Seals for professionally managing this situation and relocating Mr. Scott to the parish jail. Great job, men!”