Man charged after high-speed chase, battery of officer

Published 10:42 am Monday, October 15, 2018

A Washington Parish man was taken into custody Thursday evening, after leading sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase and then resisting arrest, according to Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Haley said that WPSO patrol deputy Jay Dupre was operating radar on Louisiana Highway 10 between Bogalusa and Franklinton late Thursday evening, when he clocked an approaching vehicle at 89 mph in the 55 mph zone. Very loud noise was coming from the vehicle as Dupre began his pursuit, Haley said. With lights flashing and siren wailing, Dupre was unable to get the vehicle to stop and reportedly continued his pursuit at up to 120 mph.

The speeding vehicle entered the city of Bogalusa, continuing eastbound on Sunset Drive and then Union Avenue, then running several stop signs before turning onto Sabine Street, Haley said. At that time, Bogalusa Police Department officer Anthony Jones joined in the pursuit.

Haley said that Dupre conducted a tactical maneuver, forcing the fleeing vehicle to spin around in the road, at which time Jones blocked the vehicle with his patrol unit.

The officers were removing the driver from the vehicle when the driver intentionally struck Jones in the head with his elbow, Haley said. Dupre and Jones were able to subdue the driver, identified as Kelvin Jewel Thomas, 19, a resident of Louisiana Highway 424. When asked why he was fleeing, Thomas told the officers he had marijuana in his vehicle and did not want to be caught with it, Haley said. Thomas also allegedly reported that he threw the marijuana out of the car while fleeing from Dupre.

Thomas was arrested and placed in the Washington Parish Jail, charged with the following offenses: excessive noise, speeding 31-40 over the speed limit, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer with force or violence, simple battery on a police officer, obstruction of justice, and four counts of running a stop sign.

Thomas remained in jail only a few hours before posting a $10,000 bond for his release, Haley said. A teenage female who was in the vehicle with Thomas was not charged and was released to the custody of her mother.

Sheriff Randy Seal is grateful the chase ended without serious injury to any person.

“Such excessive speed is a formula for disaster,” Seal said. “I congratulate Deputy Dupre and Officer Jones for being able to end the chase and take him into custody. Night-time chases like this are frightening.

“There is no way the officer can know who is fleeing, whether it is possibly a fugitive or someone who has just committed a serious crime. I am so pleased everyone went home safe.”