A Beckville man was arrested Sunday after leading area police on an hour-long car chase through Panola, Harrison and Rusk Counties, and when he tried to flee into the woods on foot, a two-hour search, Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake said.
James Kapaakea Jinks, 24, has been charged with evading arrest/detention with vehicle, aggravated assault against public servant, evading arrest/detention with vehicle, evading arrest/detention, reckless driving and driving while license invalid with previous conviction/suspension without fines resolved.
The incident started Sunday afternoon when a Panola County deputy saw a vehicle traveling about 15 miles per hour above the speed limit on Texas 149 in the Riderville community, Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake said in a press release.
The deputy tried to stop the vehicle, but Jinks fled with an unknown passenger in the vehicle from the officer, Lake said. The deputy said at the beginning of the pursuit that he thought he recognized the driver as someone who had outstanding arrest warrants.
Jinks continued to evade officers through northwestern Panola County and into eastern Rusk County, Lake said.
The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, the Tatum Police Department and DPS troopers from Panola, Rusk and Harrison Counties assisted the Panola County Sheriff’s Office, Lake said.
The pursuit lasted about one hour and covered a number of miles, Lake said, and at one point Jinks lost control of the vehicle and spun out into a ditch. As officers tried to block him from leaving, he accelerated and struck one of the Panola County patrol units in an attempt to get away, Lake said.
Jinks continued to flee the officers even though his vehicle had two deflated tires, Lake said, and he eventually turned onto a dead-end road in the Beckville area, where he began traveling onto gravel roads on private property, still fleeing officers.
The officers continued to follow Jinks’ vehicle until he drove through a fence and began to travel down a pipeline right-of-way, Lake said, and a short time later, officers discovered Jinks’ vehicle disabled and abandoned about one mile from the roadway, Lake said.
Officers immediately began a search of the area for the suspect, Lake said, and about two hours later Jink was identified and taken into custody after trying to flee on foot again.
Jinks was booked into the Panola County Detention Center, Lake said, and the passenger of Jinks’ vehicle was treated and released by EMS for minor injuries sustained as a result of Jinks’ actions.
“I am thankful no one suffered serious injuries as a result of this dangerous situation,” Lake said. “We are also thankful to all of the assisting agencies who helped in apprehending this suspect. We want to thank the landowners and residents of the area where the pursuit ended and a foot search ensued. The local residents were very gracious to unlock gates and guide officers onto private property during the search efforts. We were also offered private ATVs, other resources, and drinking water by our citizens in that area. A joint effort brought this situation to a successful close.”