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FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2007
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Car chase in Neel ends in woods

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com340-2355

NEEL — Though Morgan County sheriff's deputy Doug Key was trying to back off his pursuit, he was still running his patrol car at about 100 mph when the chase crossed the five-way stop at Neel on Tuesday night.

A few miles back and just before midnight, Key had watched a white sport utility vehicle pass on a double yellow line on Alabama 36, said Chief Deputy Mike Corley.

Key activated his emergency lights, but the SUV's driver refused to pull over, attempting to lose the deputy by turning onto Iron Man Road, Corley said.

West of the Neel crossroads, the SUV went north on Kirby Bridge Road until it reached Old Moulton Road, Corley said.

"That's where he (the SUV's driver) left the roadway and was driving in the ditch when he hit something that busted his tire," Corley said.

"He kept running on the rim and made a 180-degree about-face, came at the officer, passed him and went back down Kirby Bridge Road," Corley said.

Turning onto Iron Man, Roberts and then Boys Ranch roads, the SUV circled back to Kirby Bridge Road.

"He attempted a turn there and was going too fast, left the roadway and went down into the woods, and that's where they arrested him," Corley said.

The vehicle's two occupants were trying to get out and behaving combatively when deputies reached them, Corley said.

Key charged the driver, John Claude Beasley, 29, of 148 Roberts Road with fleeing and attempting to elude, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, resisting arrest, driving on the wrong side of the road, no tag and third-degree criminal mischief.

Key also arrested Beasley's passenger, Lori Ann Medlin, 38, of 785 Maddox Road, on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication.

Beasley and Medlin were taken to Morgan County Jail where they remained Thursday in lieu of $3,100 and $900 bonds, respectively.

No one was injured during the pursuit, and the patrol car sustained only minor cosmetic damage.

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