A 20-year-old Fort Smith man remained in the Sequoyah County Detention Center in Sallisaw Wednesday after a chase from Muldrow to Sallisaw led to various charges.
Rashaun Gesse is being held on a $12,500 bond. He was booked on charges of running a road block, eluding a police officer and reckless driving.
Muldrow Police Chief George Lawson said he received complaints Monday morning that the driver of a red Jeep Grand Cherokee was driving recklessly through Muldrow.
“We got phone calls that the driver was driving recklessly, speeding, and driving up behind other vehicles then slamming on the brakes,” Lawson reported.
Lawson went to check on the reports himself and spotted the Jeep going west on U.S. Highway 64. Lawson drove toward the Jeep, but its driver suddenly did a U-turn near the high school and headed back to the east. But before the Jeep got to Lawson, the driver suddenly did another U-turn, went off the road and into the ditch where the driver continued before getting back onto the highway going west.
Lawson gave chase, and the fleeing driver continued west on Highway 64. Lawson said the chase sped up to over 100 miles per hour at some points.
Lawson said the driver sometimes veered into the wrong lane, and ran off the road.
“It’s a wonder no one was hurt,’ Lawson said.
Two Muldrow police officers were in Sallisaw on court duty, and, when they heard about the chase, they got in their vehicles and went east on Highway 64 to cut off the fleeing driver. Lawson said Officer Robert Allen put out a stop stick on the highway between Gans and Central High Road.
The Jeep driver hit the stop stick and flattened the Jeep’s left front tire, but continued on into Sallisaw. Sallisaw police attempted to stop the driver on Sallisaw’s east side, but the driver elided them and drove into the city. He then drove around Ed’s Truck Stop, back onto Cherokee Street, and into the parking lot at Pizza Hut where he stopped.
“He didn’t have much choice because that left front tire was flat and he was driving on a rim,” Lawson said.
Lawson said the young man was arrested and booked into the county jail. It was later learned that Gesse has some mental problems and had escaped his caregiver to take a ride in the Jeep.
“He doesn’t have a driver’s license and may never have driven before,” Lawson said.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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