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Crime & Courts

Troopers: Palmer man leads officers on wild chase that ends near Wasilla Walmart

  • Author: Zaz Hollander
  • Updated: June 6, 2018
  • Published June 6, 2018

A driver found slumped over the wheel of an SUV in Palmer awoke and fled authorities at speeds over 100 mph Tuesday night until he crashed and was found in the woods, Alaska State Troopers said.

The driver, identified as 39-year-old Billy Joe Jones of Palmer, was wanted on two warrants — including one for a 2015 high-speed pursuit that ended when his vehicle hit a patrol car, troopers said.

A trooper stopped to check on Jones just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to an online dispatch. He was initially not responsive but woke up minutes later and fled.

Troopers tried to stop the 1998 white Dodge Durango but Jones sped up to over 100 mph on the southbound Glenn Highway, the dispatch says. Troopers and Wasilla police started converging on his location with spike strips as Jones "continued driving recklessly" on various frontage roads.

Wasilla police deployed spike strips near the Wasilla Walmart that flattened the Durango's front passenger tire, but Jones kept going, running a red light and colliding with a Ford pickup, troopers said. The Ford driver suffered minor injuries.

Jones drove another 7 or 8 miles on nearby roads but crashed through a fence and fled on foot into the woods, the dispatch says. Troopers and police set up a perimeter and found him after 90 minutes.

Troopers thanked "the numerous citizens and homeowners in the Fairview Loop and Edlund Road area" who kept them updated on Jones' location as he fled through the woods and their backyards, according to the dispatch.

Jones was arrested on charges of felony eluding, third-degree assault, reckless driving, driving on a revoked license, and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

He was jailed at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility without bail.

Jones was driving on a revoked license and was wanted on two arrest warrants for a previous eluding conviction and a theft charge with more than two years to serve total.

A judge issued a warrant for his arrest in January on the 2015 pursuit, which extended for 50 miles around Wasilla, according to a troopers dispatch at the time. He was wanted on multiple felony warrants.

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