By Joel Phelps
A Gurdon man is in jail after Clark County deputies say he led them on a high-speed chase for more than 10 miles then assaulted one deputy during the traffic stop.
Jamey Ray Dyer, of 292 Lone Pine Road, Gurdon, remains in custody Monday, Aug. 30, following the alleged chase. According to a report on file at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the 44-year-old Dyer ran a stop sign early Saturday at the junction of Highway 67 and Brewer Road, then sped along Highway 53 at speeds of up to 115 mph with two deputies in chase.
Deputy Josh Waldrum was patrolling traffic near the Gurdon Grill when, at about 12:15 a.m., he observed a white Ford Fusion fail to stop at the intersection. Waldrum noted in his report that he caught up to the vehicle to relay the license plate number to dispatchers, then initiated his blue lights to stop the vehicle. The driver wouldn’t stop, so Waldrum turned on his sirens. That’s when, according to the report, the vehicle “accelerated to speeds up to 75 mph and passed a vehicle in a no-passing zone.” The driver of that vehicle moved to the highway shoulder to allow police to pass, then the suspect accelerated to speeds of “up to 100 mph and ran a vehicle into a driveway to get out of its way,” Waldrum’s report says.
Deputy Chase Kersey was able to join the pursuit, following behind Waldrum.
Waldrum, whose patrol unit is a top-heavy SUV, advised Kersey to take over the chase because Dyer had by then “gained speeds up to 115 mph and I did not feel that my patrol vehicle would negotiate the curvy highway at that rate of speed.” Kersey then took over the pursuit before the Interstate 30 overpass at the 63 mile-marker. Kersey’s account of the chase indicates that Dyer appeared to “veer over like he was going to try and get on the interstate. I felt at this point I needed to try and prevent the vehicle from getting on the interstate, so I sped up and got beside the vehicle” to prevent the driver from entering I-30.
According to Waldrum, the chase had slowed to 52 mph once it reached the overpass, where Kersey and Dyer exchanged words while traveling beside each other. Kersey rolled his window down and yelled to the driver to pull over. The report states Dyer yelled back, saying he was drunk, but he came to a complete stop in the middle of the highway in front of South Fork Truck Stop.
Waldrum exited his vehicle and, gun drawn, commanded Dyer to exit his car and show his hands. Waldrum’s account indicates that Dyer refused until Waldrum approached the vehicle, but as Waldrum was attempting to remove Dyer from the car he “placed it back into drive with [Waldrum] holding onto the door to keep from falling down.” Kersey noted in the report that Dyer “took off, dragging Deputy Waldrum down the road.” With his gun still drawn and “back-pedaling” with a grip still on the door, Waldrum gave several commands for Dyer to stop. Meanwhile, Kersey “jumped back into [his] patrol unit, passed the car and turned my vehicle sideways in the middle of the road.” Dyer stopped again, “just missing [Kersey’s] patrol unit.”
Both deputies recounted that Dyer exited his vehicle yelling “I’m just drunk!” but refused to comply with their demands to get on the ground. Waldrum drew his Taser and fired it at Dyer, striking him in the chest. Dyer, the report notes, ripped its wires from his chest and allegedly attempted to strike Waldrum. Kersey fired his Taser at Dyer, bringing him to a halt. Deputies were then able to place Dyer in custody and transport him to the Clark County Detention Center. According to the report, Dyer told the arresting deputies he fled “because he knew he had a felony warrant.”
Dyer is being held on police charges of felony fleeing and aggravated assault, as well as several misdemeanor charges ranging from driving while intoxicated to driving with a suspended license.