Louisiana murder suspect

Joe Pitts

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office has captured an alleged murder suspect that was wanted out of Bastrop, Louisiana.

The suspect, Joe Pitts, was captured early Thursday morning after fleeing from HCSO deputies during a traffic stop.

“On June 3, at approximately midnight, Harrison County Deputy Gowanlock observed a silver colored Mustang travelling east on Interstate 20 at a high rate of speed and appeared to be swerving across lanes of traffic,” HCSO public information officer, Lt. Jay Webb, noted in a press release.

“Gowanlock attempted to stop the vehicle using red lights and siren as the vehicle continued to speed over the speed limit,” Webb indicated. “The vehicle then exited the interstate and traveled southbound on FM 31 at a high rate of speed. The driver of the vehicle then made an aggressive traffic move and made a U-turn in the driveway of the ESD fire station at FM 2625 and FM 31 and travelled northbound at a continued high rate of speed.”

The vehicle finally came to a stop near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 31 and Blocker Road as other HCSO units were arriving to assist, Webb said.

“The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle then jumped from the vehicle and ran into the wooded area from the location,” said Webb. “After a short foot pursuit, the driver was taken into custody by Gowanlock.”

Gowanlock, who didn’t have any identification in his possession, initially gave officers a false name.

“Upon checking the license plate registration, it was found to be registered to an address in Irving, Texas and not to the driver,” Webb explained. “After the driver was transported to the Harrison County Jail, he admitted he lied about his name and gave a different name as his true name.

“His information was checked through the TCIC/NCIC database and was found to have multiple fugitive warrants and an outstanding warrant from Bastrop, Louisiana for attempted murder and murder,” Webb indicated. “The alleged suspect was placed in jail by Deputy Gowanlock for the outstanding warrants from Louisiana and other local charges.”

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