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2009-10-08 digital edition

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2009-10-08 / Front Page

Two Lexington Men Lead Police on Chase

On Saturday, October 3, at about 1:24 a.m., Officer Fredrick Kelly with the Lexington Police Department witnessed a 1995 white Buick Century four door sedan fail to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of FM 1624 and Rockdale Street in town. He attempted to conduct a traffic stop for the minor violation; however, the driver would not stop and accelerated to an unsafe speed in an attempt to evade the officer.

Kelly pursued the vehicle on to Highway 77 and called the Lee County Sheriff's Department, requesting back up. He continued to follow the Buick approximately 10 miles to the intersection of Highway 77 and Highway 21 near Lincoln.

In the meantime Deputies Robert Carvin and Derek Easley with the Sheriff 's Department were dispatched to assist Officer Kelly in the chase.

As the Buick attempted to make the turn at a high speed west on to Highway 21, it went into the ditch and spun out. The driver regained control and headed West on Highway 21, traveling at speeds of 80 to 90 mph. After approximately 4 miles, Kelly advised the Sheriff's Department that the vehicle ran off the highway and went through a barbwire fence. He reported that two white males jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded area.

Deputies Easley and Carvin arrived on the scene and pursued the driver who had made it over two fences and was headed further in the woods. Officer Kelly pursued the passenger and apprehended him. The deputies returned with the driver in custody. The foot chase of the suspects was approximately 80 yards.

The driver, identified as Rodney Beard, 35 of Lexington, was found to have a usable amount of marijuana on his person. The passenger was identified as Jim Cantu, 29 from the community of Blue near Lexington.

The suspects also had a container with fuel inside the vehicle, which they admitted to have been "huffing" in order to get high.

Beard was charged with evading arrest or detention, driving while license invalid, possession of marijuana and driving while under the influence. Cantu was charged with evading arrest.

Beard had a rap sheet showing charges that include violation of protective order, aggravated assault to a public servant, evading arrest, deadly conduct, discharging a firearm at an individual and more. Both subjects were transported to the Lee County Jail without further incident.

Lexington Police Chief Randy Davenport said, "Officer Kelly did an outstanding job for the community. It's always a great job when nobody gets hurt and everyone follows policy."

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