Police: Man tried to run over officers

A wrecker transports Richard Philpot's heavily damaged Ford Edge after police said the suspect allegedly tried to use the vehicle to run over two Helena police officers. The pursuit ended when the vehicle smashed into an unoccupied house in McCalla. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Shelby County man was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer shortly after 2 p.m. on July 2 after police said the suspect tried to strike two Helena officers with his vehicle.

Philpot

Police arrested Richard Shane Philpot after the orange Ford Edge he was driving collided with a house in McCalla, ending a more than 45-minute police chase covering several jurisdictions, said Helena Police Department Sgt. Chris Rollan.

Rollan said Philpot lives just outside Helena city limits in unincorporated Shelby County.

The pursuit began shortly before 1:30 p.m. when Bessemer officers attempted to stop Philpot’s vehicle on narcotics charges. Rollan said officers called off the case and notified the Helena Police Department when the pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

A short time later, Helena officers spotted Philpot’s vehicle on Shelby County 93 and attempted to stop the suspect.

“(The Helena officer) thought (Philpot) was going to run on foot, so he exited his vehicle,” Rollan said. “The suspect then took a very aggressive motion to try to run over the officer.”

Rollan said the pursuit then led into a subdivision off Shelby County 93, where Rollan said it “appeared the suspect was going to stop.” When another officer exited his patrol car, Rollan said Philpot attempted to strike the officer before fleeing the scene.

The pursuit then continued into Bibb County and onto Interstate 20 before ending in McCalla when police said Philpot jumped from his moving vehicle. Philpot’s unmanned SUV then struck an unoccupied house, Rollan said.

Helena officers then brought the suspect into custody and transported him to the Helena City Jail to await transportation to the Shelby County Jail.

In addition to the two attempted murder charges, Philpot also is facing “several theft and narcotics charges.”

Philpot suffered minor injuries after jumping from his vehicle, but no officers or bystanders were injured in the incident, Rollan said.

“We take it very seriously when you try to run anyone down, whether it’s an officer or a citizen,” Rollan said.