Suspect in Calera police chase arrested after crash

Published 4:46 pm Monday, January 15, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

CALERA – A Montevallo man was arrested on the afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 11, after leading police in a car chase that ended in a dangerous collision on Highway 16 that resulted with the suspect receiving serious injuries and the injury of another driver.

Prior to the chase, the as of yet unnamed suspect was spotted by Calera Police officers driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen the day prior in Chilton county. While his name has not yet been made available, a statement from police confirmed that the suspect has at least 38 prior arrests that include at least one charge of attempting to elude.

The suspect also had active warrants from 4 separate jurisdictions according to Calera Police Chief David Hyche.

“This individual made the choice to drive through Calera in a stolen vehicle while having warrants from 4 other agencies,” Hyche said. “He chose to endanger citizens, himself and our officers. He will be facing a multitude of charges including the new Alabama felony attempting to elude charge.”

The state of Alabama’s new felony attempting to elude charge is the result of changes to how the state considers a suspect’s flight from police that were signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in June of 2023, and that went into effect 90 days following that signing.

Formally only a misdemeanor, eluding police can now be considered a state felony in certain circumstances, including the crossing of state lines, traveling 20 miles above the speed limit or injuring or killing someone while attempting to evade the police.

In addition, a separate stolen vehicle tag and an undetermined quantity of narcotics were reportedly found in the vehicle following the chase and are considered to have been in the possession of the suspect at the time of his arrest.

“Criminal justice reform is needed but not the type we normally hear about,” Hyche said. “Until we have real, swift and consistent enforcement and consequences for crime we will keep arresting the same people over and over.”