LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A dangerous trend on the rise in east Alabama. Lee County’s Sheriff Jay Jones says there has been a steady increase of drivers refusing to stop for law enforcement not just in east Alabama, but other law enforcement jurisdictions.
Monday, Lee County deputies say an Opelika man led them on a vehicle chase in Beauregard and ended with a search in several Auburn neighborhoods before he was captured. But, 22-year old Ricky Binder refused to stop for Lee County Deputies along Lee Road 146. Binder, who was wanted on a probation violation, ditched the vehicle and ran thorugh the Bent Brooke neighborhood in Auburn. A juvenile riding in the vehicle also bolted. Binder was captured a few hours later, and the juvenile was located.
Sheriff Jay Jones is thankful nobody was injured in the chase as these incidents are becoming too frequent.
“Sometimes it’s more than once a week, sometimes in a period of several days we may have one a day, it varies. But, no question based on our records, there are many more drivers attempting to flee. It’s not just us, and it’s happening all over. It can be a diminishing of respect, it could be the influence of social media, could be an effect of movies. It could be a combination of them all. More people are taking that risk,” said Jones.
Sheriff Jones says that when drivers decide to flee; instead of pulling over for a traffic stop, the outcome can be dire.
“The decision to engage in pursuing or not, there are a lot of elements involved and policies. Every agency has a pursuit policy, and it’s all geared towards public safety. We certainly look at all the circumstances like the weather, traffic volume, time of day, the violation itself,” said Jones.
Along with training, safety protocols, and equipment that can be deployed to bring chases to a rolling stop, like spike strips, Sheriff Jones urges drivers to move over safely if they see a chase happening.
“Carefully, get out of the way and move over to the far right as much as you can. Don’t keep driving or take out a phone or digital device to try and capture the moment. That’s dangerous,” said Jones.
Meanwhile, due to Monday’s chase, Binder is facing a slew of charges he would not be facing had he only stopped when deputies tried to pull him over.