A Louisiana man who stole a van led police officers on a miles-long, high-speed chase Tuesday morning.
Continuing after running over stop sticks, he was eventually apprehended without incident near the Patoka River in Jasper. He has been charged with numerous felonies.
William A. Tatum, 38, West Monroe, La., fled on foot after crashing the van and was tracked by Dubois County Sheriff’s Office K-9, Chase.
The incident began Tuesday morning when Dubois County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a possible stolen white transit van, according to the police report. The vehicle traveled from Interstate 64 onto State Road 162, where deputies located the vehicle and attempted to stop it.
The vehicle continued northbound on SR 162 into the Jasper city limits, where Jasper City Police had deployed stop sticks. The vehicle went over the stop sticks but continued fleeing police, approaching speeds as high as 100 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone in the midst of morning traffic, police said.
Police said the vehicle was driving recklessly, going left of center multiple times, even entering the oncoming lane and causing drivers to have to veer off the road to avoid a collision.
As he continued westbound from 3rd Avenue and Newton Street, the driver continued to exceed the speed limit, traveling behind Jasper Group and into the grass, then crossing Second Street into the ACK Inc. gas station lot. The driver ran over a temporary fence and T-post before crashing into railroad tracks and coming to a stop.
The driver, later identified as Tatum, jumped out of the van and began running southbound on the railroad tracks, eluding officers. Dubois County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Clint Gogel and his K-9, Chase, were called to track Tatum. A witness told police he saw the suspect running towards EHH Trucking.
Police located Tatum ducking down between two trailers. He did not follow commands to stop and get on the ground, and the chase continued.
The man then stopped, placed his hands in the air and got on the ground. Deputies placed him in handcuffs and transported him to the Dubois County Security Center where he was booked in on the following charges: Resisting law enforcement with a vehicle; Criminal recklessness; Vehicle theft; Resisting law enforcement on foot; Aggressive driving; Reckless driving; Operating while intoxicated – endangerment; and OWI with a metabolite
All charges are merely allegations, and all suspects are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.