BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Dozens of police units with flashing lights and sirens chased a car through the city Thursday. The chase ended with a crash on Pocahontas and Adams. The driver of the car, Eric Jones, was taken into custody after allegedly hitting a police cruiser, running through yards, narrowly missing several pedestrians and causing at least one person to be transported to the hospital. The pursuit all happened over the span of about an hour.
Casey Rayborn-Hicks, spokesperson for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, says late Thursday, deputies were on patrol as part of the BRAVE initiative when a car caught their attention.
Hicks says Jones was driving erratically near North Eugene and Main Street and didn't use a turn signal and had a busted windshield.
"So they initiated a traffic stop, turned on lights and sirens and attempted to stop him. He basically yelled obscenities at the deputies and he fled," Hicks said.
She went on to say other EBRSO units in the area joined the pursuit, as well as units from BRPD, who she says were also patrolling with BRAVE. State troopers responded as well.
But why were so many members of law enforcement involved in a chase that deputies say did not top speeds of 60 mph, and for parts of it, went as slow as 20 mph? No one agency could give us a number of how many officers, units and other resources they had involved in the chase.
"At one point BRPD's helicopter said they believed he threw a handgun out of the car. So we're still looking into that, seeing if we can locate that," Hicks said.
No gun has been found.
In the meantime, the chase went on. After several minutes, BRPD eventually told some of their officers to break off because a supervisor could not get specifics on why the car was being pursued.
The police department declined our request for an on camera interview. They did confirm they were involved in Thursday's chase. A spokesman tells us the incident is under review, to determine if their policy was followed.
So why the show of force for what started as a traffic stop? The only answer we got from the sheriff's office was they were concerned about what the driver had done and/or was capable of doing.
Jones is facing several charges including resisting an officer and driving with a suspended license. He also allegedly rammed a BRPD cruiser.