SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Law enforcement officers in two parishes were led on a dangerous high-speed chase Wednesday after attempting to stop a stolen vehicle.
Before 8:30 a.m., Many Police Department officers attempted a traffic stop on a truck stolen from Shreveport. The vehicle refused to stop and fled. Sabine Parish Sheriff’s deputies joined the chase as the suspect traveled south through Florien into Vernon Parish.
Officials say the driver, James A. Machado Jr. of Meridith, New Hampshire, attempted to ram police units. He drove southbound in the northbound lanes of Hwy 171 as he passed through Hornbeck and Anacoco towards Leesville. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Louisiana State Police and several city and state agencies, joined in the chase, attempting to stop the truck with Pursuit Intervention Techniques.
Reports say that Machado would laugh and waive at officers as they attempted to stop him. He avoided spike strips on at least two occasions before he entered Vernon Parish.
Officials say Machado crossed the Vernon Lake Bridge and rammed a Sabine patrol deputy attempting to get civilian drivers out of the path. He struck the patrol unit twice, forcing it off the road and rolling it onto its side into a ditch.
Vernon Parish detectives were able to use PIT to move the suspect’s vehicle off the road. However, he was able to regain control and return to the highway. Officers say he aggressively began attempting to ram patrol units.
A Vernon Parish Narcotics Agent struck the vehicle head-on in her patrol unit to stop him from entering Leesville city limits. Both vehicles stopped in the median, and officers surrounded Machado.
Officials say they had to break the driver’s window to remove him. Police later learned the truck was reported stolen in an armed carjacking in Shreveport.
The Sabine Parish deputy and VPNTF agent suffered minor injuries. Two VPSO patrol units suffered significant damage in the chase.
Authorities say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible. Machado is booked into the Vernon Parish Jail. The bond has not been set yet. His current list of charges includes:
- Reckless operation
- Aggravated flight from an officer
- Five counts of resisting an officer with force or violence
- Failure to obey a red light
- Misrepresentation during booking
- General speed law
- Driving on roadways laned for traffic
- No driver’s license on person
- Careless operation
- Failure to use turn signals
- Traveling in roadway ditches
- Six counts of property damage
- Three counts of hit and run driving
- Possession of stolen things
- Obstruction of public passages