Tupelo man leads police on high speed chase

22 year-old Jamiraquin Martin reached speeds of nearly 100 miles an hour near Thomas Street Elementary.

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 7:30 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 7:56 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: It’s not every day that one gets a deeper look into a high speed police pursuit. Just a few days ago on Friday, a Tupelo man led authorities on such a chase, though  much of the news that day came from Ecru where a raging fire at American Furniture demanded attention. Nevertheless, WTVA’s Mike Russell spent much of Tuesday afternoon with Verona Police Chief J.B. Long, and filed this report.

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - As is the case with most high-speed chases, this one did not last very long. The entire pursuit lasted less than 10 minutes. At one point, the man trying to evade police blasted through this intersection near Thomas Street Elementary at 97 miles an hour. But let’s go back to the beginning.

It all started at a routine checkpoint in Verona on West Street just off Palmetto Rd. As 22 year old Jamiraquin Martin of Tupelo, approaches the checkpoint from the north, he ducks into a driveway and speeds off into the opposite direction. Verona Police Chief takes it from there.

"Apparently he was trying to get away from the police," said Long. "So I immediately jumped into my vehicle, went to pursue and see if I could get him stopped."

A few hundred yards down West Street, Martin loses control and does a couple of donuts in the yard of a home there. It appears he may try to ram Chief Long.

Mike Russell: "Chief, at this point you don't really know anything about the guy,right? You just know you've got somebody running away from you, right?

Verona Police Chief J. B. Long: "That's all I knew. I knew I had a guy in the car trying to get away from the police."

A little further down, West becomes Southern Heights Rd. Martin blows through a stop sign at Green Tee Road at 70 miles an hour. At each intersection, Chief Long is advising dispatch, worried about a possible collision.

"I would tell 911 he might crash because there are cars on both sides," says Long.

At Evelyn Street, Martin blows another stop sign -- and he's going so fast, he goes airborn over the hill. Then at Mitchell, he blows yet another one, then speeds west. At South Thomas Street, the traffic is picking up - and so is the risk of a crash. At Cliff Gookin, that risk becomes enormous.

Mike Russell: "So east and west traffic has the green....north and south is stopped, he goes in the wrong lane and blows this intersection without even touching his brakes, right?"

Verona Police Chief J. B. Long: "He never touched his brakes...."

Thomas Street is a long straight stretch of road -- and Martin is picking up speed. As he approaches the intersection of Bryan and Thomas close to Thomas Street Elementary, Tupelo Police officers are waiting. It's about 1:30 and some parents are early for the 3:05 school dismissal. Martin is traveling nearly a hundred miles an hour.

"I'm hoping nobody crosses this street," says Long. "No children or anything because the guy's not going to stop, so I'm just thinking disaster."

The end is near, though. Just down the road, Martin crashes into a curb, jumps out of his car and runs into the Spanish Village Court Complex. Tupelo Police approach on one side, and Chief Long from the other. Martin eventually runs out of the complex, right into the waiting handcuffs of police officers. They find out there's a warrant for his arrest in Missouri. In the meantime, Martin is booked into the Lee County Jail on Felony Fleeing and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

"Everything's about safety," says Long. "And that's why I kept letting 911 know where we were going, the direction we were going, and hoping that anybody would show up just to help get this guy stopped."

The good news? Police caught the bad guy and nobody was hurt. Chief Long says that was his biggest priority from start to finish.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
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Leake261173
Grenada254982
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Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
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Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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