HomeTop StoriesMan tells officers 'I'm not going to jail' before chasing them

Man tells officers ‘I’m not going to jail’ before chasing them

Mar. 30—A Lacey’s Spring man was arrested at a home Monday by Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies after he drove away from a security checkpoint and fled police on foot Saturday, according to a deputy sheriff’s statement.

Justin Paul Oakes, 30, remained in the Morgan County Jail Friday in lieu of $57,300 bond and is charged with attempted eluding, reckless driving, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and numerous other traffic violations, jail records show.

Officers stopped a Ford F-150 occupied by a man and a woman who did not have a driver’s license on Saturday at a security checkpoint near the 3000 block of East Upper River Road in Somerville, according to an affidavit signed by Deputy Tyler Pepper .

The pair were identified by their Social Security numbers as Oakes and Felicia Eadie, and both had outstanding warrants for their arrest, according to the affidavit.

“When Pepper was notified of the arrest warrants, dispatch said a burglary had been reported at our location via Eadie’s cell phone,” the statement said. “Pepper discovered that Eadie was trying to distract Pepper from their attention to avoid being arrested.”

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Officers said they ordered Eadie to exit the vehicle, while Oakes was told to pull into a parking lot. As Pepper approached Oakes’ vehicle, Oakes heard the report that he had active warrants for his arrest, the affidavit said.

“I’m not going to jail, I’m sorry,” Oakes allegedly said. He then “ran through the parking lot, jumped a ditch” and nearly struck another deputy’s patrol vehicle and a bystander’s vehicle, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, a Sheriff’s Office corporal chased Oakes while Pepper remained with Eadie. After transferring Eadie to the custody of another deputy, Pepper gave chase.

He caught up with the corporal and Oakes’ vehicle near the 400 block of Murphy Road, about seven miles east of the checkpoint, according to the affidavit.

“Oakes had fled on foot through the woods toward (Alabama) 36,” the statement read. “After an extensive period of searching the area, Oakes could not be located.”

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Officers said they then called a tow truck to the scene and searched the F-150.

Pepper “found two clear baggies between the center seat that (contained) a white crystal-like substance,” the affidavit said, as well as a “methamphetamine pipe.”

The crystal-like substance, which weighed more than 9 grams, tested positive for meth, according to the affidavit.

Officers said they arrested Oakes later Monday at a home on Turtle Dove Drive in Lacey’s Spring. At the time of the arrest, Oakes and Eadie were both scheduled to stand trial in Cullman County in June on charges of third-degree burglary.

Court records Friday showed no new charges had been filed against Eadie in connection with Saturday’s pursuit, and jail records show she was not booked into the Morgan County Jail.

Until last year, the maximum penalty for fleeing law enforcement in Alabama was a Class A misdemeanor. Changes to state law in September made attempting to elude a Class C misdemeanor if the offender, while fleeing, strikes another vehicle or pedestrian or causes bodily injury to another person.

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– david.gambino@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2438.

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