A Rolla man was arrested after resisting and fleeing from officers. The chase led officers through a barbed wire fence and a field of aggressive cattle, and wrangled into custody.
Mark W. Wood, 54, of Rolla, was charged with resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and the operation of a vehicle in a dangerous manner.
According to court documents, an officer was traveling south on routine patrol, on April 24, on North Jefferson Street in St. James where he noticed a male subject “quickly get on” a black-colored motorcycle sport bike, and leave a resident on Florine Street at a high rate of speed.
The officer pulled through a nearby parking lot and witnessed the subject turn South onto North Meramec Street without signaling. The subject then noticed the officer and used his hands to signal a turn into the parking lot, The officer activated his emergency lights and used hand gestures to stop the motorcycle.
After the motorcycle stopped, the officer excited his patrol vehicle and explained to the driver he had been stopped for not using his turn signals. According to the probable cause statement, the drive nodded and “gave a head gesture commonly accepted as ‘yes.’” The officer requested the driver’s license and insurance information, and the driver “gave a head gesture commonly accepted as ‘no,’” and looked towards his hands.
The officer noticed the driver’s hands were on the vehicle’s accelerator, and told him “don’t do it,” according to the court documents.
Wood apparently ignored the officer’s warning and allegedly accelerated anyway. The officer attempted to grab the driver’s arm, and shouted at him to stop as he continued to accelerate, leaving the traffic stop.
Activating his siren, the officer turned onto North Jefferson Street in order to follow the driver. He saw the driver maneuver through two separate turning lanes and a driving lane to evade him. The officer lost sight of the motorcycle near the intersection of South Jefferson and South Meramec Streets. Due to the motorcycles speed, and the proximity to the schools and playground, the officer said in his report he felt it was “too unsafe” to continue the pursuit of the offender.
The officer was later contacted by radio, alerting him to a possible sighting of the subject near a residence off of County Road 3470. Wood was spotted running behind a trailer wearing the same motorcycle helmet and jacket as before. The officer commanded him to stop, and Wood allegedly proceeded to run through a barbed-wire fence into a cattle field. The officer, along with another who was with him at the time followed Wood over the fence.
Upon entering the field, the officers were met with several cattle moving towards them in what was described int he court documents as “an aggressive manner,”.
At the same time, a St. James patrol vehicle arrived on the scene. The team was able to apprehend the subject, and the officer was able to return to speak with the residence owner, according to the probable cause statement.
The subject was identified after being transported to the St. James Police Department.
According to the probable cause statement, the motorcycle was found parked beneath a tarp near the residence where Wood had been spotted. The owner told officer it was not theirs, and an unidentified female on the scene stated she had heard the motorcycle, but had not been expecting anyone. Both the owner of the residence and the unidentified female said the subject did not have permission to be on the property. He asked the residence owner if she knew Wood, and she did, although he did not reside on the property.
While in route to the police station, it was communicated that a “large amount of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana,” was found near the motorcycle, according to the officer’s report.
Wood was lying on the floor in the booking room when the officer arrived, and appeared to be having some physical problems, according to the report. The officer asked Wood if he needed an ambulance, to which the man said he did not, and “just had trouble breathing.”
In his interview, Wood stated he ran from the traffic stop because he had just purchased the vehicle and it wasn’t registered. When the officer explained he would have likely only received a citation or warning, Wood replied, “I had a fast bike and was just feeling ballsy,” according to the probable cause statement.
When the officer inquired about the methamphetamine, Wood told him he didn’t know anything about it. When the officer asked again, Wood immediately requested an ambulance. When the E.M.S. team arrived at the location, Wood was seen, and he denied to go with them, according to the probable cause statement.
The methamphetamine found weighed approximately 29 grams, and the Marijuana weighed approximately 3 grams. A digital scale was also allegedly found with the drugs.
Wood was transported to the Phelps County Jail and placed on a 24-hour hold. According to court documents, Wood is currently on probation and parole.