West Memphis Man Jumps to Death Following Police Chase - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

West Memphis, AR

West Memphis Man Jumps to Death Following Police Chase

WEST MEMPHIS, AR - A deadly chase took an unusual turn Wednesday night, when West Memphis officers relealized the person they were chasing was not the man they thought he was.

When police got a call from a domestic violence victim, she told they where they could find the man who assaulted her.  Police found Gary Williams, but he was not the suspect they were looking for.  Williams was in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes when authorities caught up with him.

"We had some officers that had been investigating a domestic battery that had occured in another location," said WMPD Asst. Chief Mike Allen.

The victim gave police a description that matched what Williams was wearing and where he was located when West Memphis tried to stop him on Interstate-55 Wednesday night.  But Williams refused to stop.  When police finally cornered Williams on an I-55 overpass, he jumped out of the van he was driving and over the overpass guardrail.  Police say the 65-foot drop killed him instantly.

"It would be the equivalent of jumping off a six-story building," said Allen.

But even though Williams was the wrong suspect, there is apparently a reason that he ran.  "Gary was on parole in the state of Arkansas and had, I think we counted, about 13 previous arrests," said Allen. 

Police say Williams almost struck two West Memphis officers who had just stepped out of a squad car.  "We were very fortunate that this morning that we're not talking about two officers that were killed," said Allen.

(Raycom sister station WMC contributed to this report.)

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