Pursuit began in Covington and ended in Franklinton

A quiet morning in downtown Franklinton was interrupted last Friday when police officers from five different jurisdictions chased a car along Washington Street in front of the courthouse. The pursuit then turned down Cleveland Street and came to an end when the car ran into a ditch near the corner of Dewey and Cleveland. No one was injured, although an ambulance was called to the scene as a precaution. The chase started around 9:45 a.m. in Covington when officers tried to stop Dennis Hamby, 52, for showing a switched license plate. Hamby, a Kentwood resident, didn’t stop. Instead, he went north on Highway 25 at high speed, and the Covington officers gave chase. Because of the allegedly switched license plate and the driver’s refusal to stop, the officers had reason to suspect that the car was stolen. Hamby came to Folsom and refused to stop there also. A Folsom officer and two vehicles from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit as it flew out of Folsom and headed north toward Franklinton. The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified and deputies were waiting at the Hwy 25-Hwy 16 intersection west of Franklinton. Deputies used spike strips to stop Hamby’s car. The spike strips successfully blew out a tire, but Hamby refused to stop. He continued toward Franklinton with a tire in shreds. Franklinton police officers joined the pursuit, and Hamby was finally stopped when he went into the ditch at Dewey and Cleveland streets. He was arrested and transferred to the Washington Parish Jail with charges being placed by both the Franklinton and Covington police departments. Charges filed include: •Switched license plate •Aggravated flight from an officer •fugitive from another jurisdiction •failure to appear (misdemeanor) •reckless operation of a motor vehicle Franklinton Police Chief Justin Brown said he was grateful that no one was injured. He noted that the Franklinton Police Department always makes “every reasonable effort to have pursuits such as this one terminated before the vehicles make their way into Franklinton.” But, he said, even though spike strips were successfully deployed, “we have experienced instances where drivers continued driving on their rims and made their way into the town limits.” Brown said, “Our mission is to keep our residents safe and we will continue to modify and adjust our tactics to reduce the potential danger to our citizens.”

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