JPD: Man who 'bailed out' of car during chase arrested, charged

JPD: Man who 'bailed out' of car during chase arrested, charged

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Around 1:30 Friday morning, Officer Tanner Huff was patrolling near the intersection of Highland Drive and South Culberhouse when he said he saw a southbound car swerve over the fog line and completely leave the roadway.

When he saw the driver jerk the vehicle back onto the road, nearly losing control, Huff turned on his blue lights and attempted to stop him.

Instead, of slowing for the officer, the driver sped off, according to Huff's incident report.

The suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Leroy Jones of Jonesboro, turned onto Owens Avenue, "swerving all over the road." Huff flipped on his siren, but like the lights, Jones ignored it and continued driving.

At the intersection of Woods and Owens, Huff said Jones ignored the stop sign then turned east onto Sims.

"[Jones] then accelerated at a high rate of speed and swerved from shoulder to shoulder," Huff reported.

Jones blew through the stop sign at Sims and South Culberhouse, turning south onto Culberhouse. He then turned west back onto Owens, taking the same route to Sims. He turned south onto Anne Street and began to slow down, Huff said.

At the intersection of Anne and Owens, Huff saw the driver's door open and Jones "bailed out of the vehicle while it was still moving."

As Jones tried to run from the scene, his Ford Taurus rolled into a power pole before coming to a stop in the intersection of Owens and Anne.

Huff jumped out of his car and started chasing Jones on foot. As he closed in on the suspect, Huff ordered him to stop or he would tase him.

Jones stopped running and turned to face the officer.

"[Jones] had his left hand in the front pocket of his pants," Huff reported. "I drew my sidearm and command [Jones] to raise both hands in the air."

After repeating the command, Jones complied.

Huff searched and handcuffed Jones then placed him in his police cruiser before he and Officer Victor Garcia searched Jones's Taurus.

Inside the car, Garcia found a half-smoked hand-rolled marijuana joint inside a cigarette pack, the report said.

Huff then took Jones to the Craighead County Detention Center and booked him in on suspicion of possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, reckless driving, fleeing in a vehicle, fleeing on foot, running a stop sign, no proof of liability insurance, fictitious tags, and driving while license suspended. Jones was left on a $3,545 surety bond and a probation hold to await a June 19 appearance in district court.

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