Teen steals deputy's car, leads officers on chase

Teen steals deputy's car, leads officers on chase
A juvenile stole a deputy's car Tuesday morning, according to police. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A teenager is behind bars and facing multiple felony charges after a high-speed chase involving a stolen Lamar County Deputy's car early Tuesday morning.

The juvenile, who is not being identified, has been charged with grand larceny auto, felony eluding and two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer after his initial appearance in Lamar County Youth Court.

Around 7 a.m., a Lamar County Deputy picked up a 16-year-old juvenile for trespassing and that's when the incident started according to Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel.

"He had him in custody in back of the patrol car and he brought him to his mother's house over off Carriage Park and while he was talking with the mother, fixing to release him to his mother, the juvenile managed to pry open the cage and get into the front seat of the patrol vehicle and stole the patrol vehicle," said Rigel.

Rigel added that the deputy, who is not being identified at this time called for assistance.

"He (juvenile) drove all over Oak Grove at a high-rate of speed, running people off the road," said Rigel. "Several law enforcement agencies were involved and several law enforcement agency cars were damaged during the pursuit."

Mississippi Highway Patrol officers joined the pursuit to assist Lamar County around 7:30 a.m.

"Troopers made contact with him (juvenile) originally on Richburg Road, he made an attempt to elude officers all the way through the Oak Grove area," said Mississippi Highway Patrol PIO Brent Barfield.

Barfield added that two of their vehicles were damaged in the pursuit.

"During this process, we had, an MHP vehicle was struck at the intersection of Westover and 98," said Barfield. "He continued and kept going out 98…then the suspect in the vehicle left the roadway and entered the median off the left lane and continued down the median at which point he struck another trooper, collided with another trooper's vehicle and continued west."

Spike sticks were deployed by MHP officers at one of the entrances to Canebrake, but that attempt was unsuccessful.

Spike sticks were also used at the intersection of Mississippi 589 and U.S. 98, which were deployed by other deputies and they were effective, flattening all the tires on the SUV.

The chase ended in the median, just west of Mack's West, on U.S. 98.

"No injuries were reported, we're blessed no civilians, no law enforcement, there was damage to vehicles…but the suspect is in custody," said Rigel.

The juvenile will be facing multiple felony charges according to Rigel.

"He will be facing everything from stealing a vehicle, grand larceny auto, to felony eluding, and then some of the officers, we got to talk with the Highway Patrol to see if they are going to do any felony charges for some type of aggravated assault on a police officer," said Rigel.

"As long as we can get our job done where nobody gets hurt, we've had a good day," said Barfield.

Charges are also pending from the Mississippi Highway Patrol.