Gantt police pursuit ends with arrest

Published 3:28 pm Friday, April 22, 2022

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A local man was arrested Thursday after leading Gantt Police on a pursuit after failing to stop for law enforcement on U.S. Highway 29 in Gantt.

Law enforcement reported that at approximately 9:57 p.m., a Dodge truck traveling south on Hwy. 29 in Gantt failed to stop after a traffic stop was initiated for equipment violations.

“The driver of the Dodge truck failed to stop after emergency lights and siren were engaged on his patrol vehicle. The driver then continued traveling south to Andalusia with no regard for his safety or the safety of others,” Harris said. “As the driver approached the intersection of U.S. Highway 29 and U.S. Highway 84 in Andalusia, the truck almost struck two vehicles at the intersection, barely missing them,” said Gant Police Chief Ken Harris.

River Falls Police Officer Marcus Laster intercepted the chase at the intersection near Piggly Wiggly and Hardees. Laster attempted to assist Gantt Police by positioning his patrol vehicle, a Ford Explorer, in front of the Dodge truck. “The driver of the truck rammed the rear of the River Falls Police Explorer and continued to travel east on U.S. Highway 84 in the direction of Walmart,” Harris added.

The driver of the Dodge truck turned into the Walmart parking lot. Chief Harris and Officer Laster made every effort possible to end the pursuit before injuries arose. Both the River Falls Ford Explorer and Gantt Police Ford F-150 truck received damage as a result of the incident.

“I engaged the Dodge truck in a feverish attempt to end the threat and bring the pursuit to an end before allowing the truck to make it near the entrances and exits of Walmart,” Harris said.

The driver of the Dodge was identified as Cameron Byrd, 20, of Pier 7 Road in Gantt. Byrd was taken into custody and is currently being charged with attempting to elude law enforcement and second-degree assault.

EMS transported Officer Laster to Andalusia Health for back and neck pain before he was released a few hours later.

“Byrd will most likely face additional charges after he has a chance to speak with the prosecutors and has time to evaluate the totality of the circumstances. I learned that he had received a ticket earlier from River Falls Police for equipment violations,” Harris said.