By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
A Jackson man is in the hospital after he led officers on a high speed chase shortly after midnight Monday after he robbed a Walmart, resisted arrest and fled the scene.
Starkville Police responded to Walmart on Highway 12 after receiving a report that a cash register had been robbed. The suspect, Gabiel Arshawn Chapman, 22, of 409 Houston Avenue, Jackson, was still at the store when the officers arrived.
“The suspect became violent and would not comply with officer’s orders. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs or be psychotic,” said Starkville Police Chief David Lindley.
The officers repeatedly hit the suspect with stun guns, but he still resisted.
“It was the first time in our experience that we had someone that was not affected by the tasers,” Lindley said.
After fighting with the officers, Chapman managed to make it to his vehicle, which was parked in the fire lane in front of the store. According to Lindley, the suspect nearly dragged one of the officers away as he fled.
The officers followed in pursuit of the suspect. As the chase led out of town, SPD called for assistance from the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, and eventually the Mathiston Police Department.
“The chase was in excess of 100 miles an hour, and he was on the wrong side of the road,” said Chief Deputy George Carrithers.
He said the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the police to assist in the stopping of the suspect’s vehicle as the chase led them out into the county. The suspect was driving west in the east bound lane of Highway 82.
“He posed a threat not only to the officers who were chasing him, but to the citizens on the road, which they encountered quite a few,” Carrithers said.
The officers followed the suspect all the way to Mathiston. Chapman attempted to jump the median, but flipped his white 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. Although he was injured in the crash, he continued to struggle with officers.
Chapman was arrested and taken to OCH Regional Medical Center to receive treatment for his injuries.
“It appears he is psychotic and we are in the process of trying to get him committed,” said Lindley.
No officers or other citizens were injured in the robbery or pursuit of the suspect.
Chapman is charged with robbery of a commercial business, aggravated assault on a police officer, felony fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle, and disorderly conduct (failure to comply). Additional charges may be added pending further investigation.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident should contact the Starkville Police Department Investigation Bureau at (662) 323-0393.