By GARY POPP
Four law enforcement agencies were involved in the arrest of a Charlestown man Wednesday morning that involved two stolen vehicles and a nearly 40-minute manhunt, police reported.
Jason Thomas Spicer, 28, of Fulkerson Drive, was taken into custody after he was pursued for nearly two hours. He has been preliminarily charged with four felonies and a string of misdemeanors.
Charlestown Police Chief Keith McDonald was contacted about 6 a.m. Wednesday morning in regards to Scott County Sheriff’s Office attempting to stop a maroon GMC Envoy. CPD had filed a theft report less then 12 hours earlier on the vehicle.
As the SCSO pursued the Envoy, “ ... the suspect was throwing items that matched items that were reported to be in the vehicle by the owner/victim,” according to the police report drafted by McDonald.
The suspect was identified as a small-statured man wearing a bandana or beanie hat.
SCSO lost sight of the Envoy on two occasions during the pursuit, according to the police report.
More than an hour after McDonald was notified of the vehicle chase, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a homeowner along Caney Road in Henryville “ ... in reference to the homeowner discovering a maroon-colored GMC Envoy that was on their property stuck in the mud.”
McDonald sent a CPD detective and a K-9 unit to the Henryville home. The officer determined, at that time, that the abandoned Envoy was the vehicle CPD had received a theft report on the day before.
The K-9 unit followed a track in the same direction of a truck stop in Memphis.
At about 8 a.m. area law enforcement radio traffic called out that a blue Ford F-150 had been stolen from the truck stop, located several miles from where the Envoy had been left. It was reported the truck was stolen by a man with a small build wearing a bandana or beanie hat.
McDonald positioned his vehicle at the intersection of Caney Road and Old Ind. 160.
“ ... after a few short minutes, I observed a dark navy blue Ford F-150 pass my location heading from Henryville toward Charlestown,” McDonald reported. “I observed the male driver as appearing to be short in stature with scraggly, messed up hair, which would be consistent if he was previously wearing a bandana or beanie.”
McDonald then pulled behind the vehicle, and followed it off of Ind. 160 and onto Munk Road. When the truck was confirmed as stolen, McDonald conducted a traffic stop, with his firearm drawn.
The driver, later identified as Spicer, refused McDonald’s orders to turn off and exit the vehicle.
“After a few seconds, the driver [Spicer] quickly accelerated and took off from me,” McDonald reported.
A high-speed pursuit ensued along Munk Road, Leon Prall Road and Ind. 3.
“[Spicer] continued south at speeds that reached near 90 mph, recklessly passing several motorists in sections of the roadway that were no-passing zones,” according to the report.
While following the pickup truck, McDonald saw a Clark County Sheriff ahead on the roadway deploy stop sticks, that penetrated the tires of F-150. The truck lost speed, but maintained 40 to 50 mph “as three of the trucks tires began to break apart from the rim.”
Then, “the suspect steered the truck into a ditch near [a] patrol car and attempted to go off-road when the truck became struck.”
Spicer then fled on foot. An Indiana State Police trooper at the scene deployed a Taser gun, which struck Spicer, but was ineffective. Spicer ran into a wooded area, followed by McDonald, the trooper and a CCSO deputy.
He eluded police for 30 to 45 minutes, until a resident on Ind. 160 called authorities and reported seeing a man matching Spicer’s description walking nearby. A short time later Spicer was in police custody.
He was found with a single Taser barb lodged in his clothing, but it had not pierced his skin.
According to the report, Spicer denied having any knowledge of the Envoy, and later changed his story to say he knew who stole the vehicle, but said it wasn’t him. He then refused further questioning and requested an attorney.
CPD determined the shoe worn by Spicer at the time of his arrest matched that of impressions in the mud around and foot prints in the Enjoy.
Spicer’s preliminary charges are two counts auto theft, resisting law enforcement, and habitual traffic offender, all class D felonies; criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, both class A misdemeanors; and reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor.
Spicer’s upcoming court hearing was not available on Clark County online court records as of press time.