Man runs afoul during traffic stop

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

What began as a traffic stop of a subject by the River Falls Police Department Wednesday morning eventually became a foot chase and a search of a home on Railroad Avenue in Andalusia conducted by several law enforcement officials.

Police Chief Jeff Holland of the River Falls Police Department said the incident began as an attempted stop on a Honda with a temporary tag driven by Spencer Bethel of Georgiana, whom Holland described as a black male in his mid 30s.

He said during the car chase Bethel was traveling approximately 75 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.

He said once he was able to stop Bethel's car, the suspect eventually was able to get away and a foot chase began.

This began at Sunnyside Road near old County Road 107 and the foot chase continued across a wooded area off U.S. Highway 84, near the railroad tracks.

He said he quickly notified railroad officials to be on the lookout for Bethel, and various agents converged on the residence for a search of the house and the vicinity of the house.

Holland said he received word that Bethel, apparently wearing a blue Tennessee Titan jersey was at a residence on Railroad Avenue.

These agents included those with the Covington County Sheriff's Department, the Andalusia Police Department, Red Level Police Department, the Covington County 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force, the Gantt Police Department, Covington County K-9 officers and the Alabama State Troopers

A search of the house failed to lead to the discovery of Bethel, and Holland said the search continued throughout the day.

"We still have to find (Bethel) said Holland.

When asked if there was a possibility that Bethel may have fled through the woods on Railroad Avenue, Holland said the source who had referred him to the residence said they had not seen Bethel leave the premises.

In addition to the charges that Holland said his department would be issuing to Bethel, he said additional felony charges would also likely be forthcoming.

Holland said that anyone with any information regarding Bethel should contact the Andalusia Police Department at 222-1155, Covington County Sheriff's Department at 428-2642, or the River Falls Police Department at 427-2630.