Suspect rams police cruisers

Posted By | November 25, 2003 12:00 am

Jody Sliger
Jesse Lynn Merriman, 23, was arrested Nov. 23, 2003, and faces four charges after being involved in an accident with a White County Sheriff Patrol car. He was transported to White County Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to the report, while on patrol at approximately 9:05 p.m., Deputy Charles Sims noticed a vehicle with the driver’s side taillight not working. Sims got behind the vehicle and discovered there was also no tag on the vehicle.
When the officer attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped up, running off the roadway then managed to regain control and continue into Van Buren County. The driver then turned into a driveway, went through the yard, into a field, made a circle, and hit a tree head on.
The driver then backed up and returned to the roadway. While the driver was attempting to flee, he
lost control of the vehicle while trying to negotiate a curve. The vehicle turned around backwards and the officer thought the driver was going to stop. Instead, the subject took off again, striking the officer’s vehicle.
The driver then lost control of his vehicle and ran off the roadway, down an embankment and through a field, finally coming to rest in a sinkhole. At this time, the driver was identified as Jesse Lynn Merriman. Merriman was then taken into custody.
Tennessee Highway Patrol was notified to work the accident scene where Merriman struck the officer’s vehicle.
Merriman appeared uninjured and traveled up to the roadway without assistance. When the subject was asked if he needed an ambulance, Merriman fell to the ground saying his head and neck were hurt. The ambulance arrived at the scene and transported him to the hospital.
Merriman was charged with driving under the influence, evading arrest in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment with a motor vehicle and license required.
He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 26, 2003.
-Stop strips used to capture subject
Deputy Jeff Bulakowski assisted Deputy Charles Sims in arresting Raymond R. Morgan on Nov. 21, 2003. According to a report filed with the White County Sheriff Department, Sims observed a red GEO Tracker with two male subjects and one female subject inside. Knowledge of the passenger being Morgan, who had active warrants out on him, the officer attempted to stop the vehicle. The Tracker increased speed and attempted to flee. During the time Sims was in active pursuit, Bulakowski placed stop strips on Highway 70 east. When the subject’s vehicle hit the stop strips, the vehicle was disabled.
The driver, Mark Payne, and Morgan were both placed under arrest. While officers were taking Payne into custody, there was a brief struggle getting him into handcuffs. The female passenger was escorted to the Sheriff Department and released.
Payne was charged with evading arrest in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. Morgan was charged with evading arrest in a motor vehicle. Both are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5, 2003.

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