An Aug. 22 traffic stop in Sallisaw ended in the arrest of a Muldrow man who allegedly ran from law enforcement officers.
A Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputy reportedly saw Sebastien Southerland, 20, speeding on Highway 17 near East 1050 Road in a maroon Nissan Altima. His speed was clocked at 87 mph on radar. He was in a 45-mph zone.
When the deputy initiated a traffic stop, the Altima reportedly sped up and began passing traffic in the oncoming lanes. There were numerous vehicles in both lanes, forcing the officer to slow down to ensure the safety of those on the road.
According to a report, the driver of a red Dodge pickup later waved down the deputy and told him the suspect car had almost struck him when it pulled into a mobile home park between Kody Lane and East Eppler Street.
When the deputy pulled into the area, he saw the Altima parked behind the trailer park. As he moved closer to the vehicle, the deputy saw a white male in a yellow shirt running north into a field. During a foot pursuit, the deputy found the yellow shirt in the field. As law enforcement moved in, the now shirtless man was seen running from the scene.
After losing the man during the chase, the deputy returned to the Nissan, where he interviewed three people standing outside the vehicle. The three identified themselves as Aaliyah Cometsvah, Travis Shelby and Arianna Aaron.
Shelby and Aaron told the deputy that the man who fled was Southerland and that he had been drinking. Cometsvah allegedly refused to name the suspect, even though the other two said Southerland was her boyfriend. According to the police report, the deputy could smell alcohol on Cometsvah, who admitted drinking a few beers.
Because she was obstructing the deputy’s investigation and under the drinking age, Cometsvah was arrested. The report noted that there was no smell of alcohol coming from Shelby and Aaron, who were released.
The deputy was then informed that Southerland was being held by Sallisaw Police Department officers at the corner of Argyle and Pine streets.
Southerland smelled strongly of alcohol, was unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot eyes, the report indicates.
Southerland was charged with endangering others while eluding/attempting to elude police officer and public intoxication. He was released on $3,000 bond.
The eluding charge, a felony, comes with a sentence of up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000. The misdemeanor public intoxication charge carries with it a punishment of up to six months in the county jail, a fine of up to $500, or both.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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