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Jackson County Sheriff's Office wants to change attempting to elude charge to a felony

Right now, 'attempting to elude' is a misdemeanor unless someone gets hurt. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office wants to change that.

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 6:25 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 7:10 PM

At least two inmates booked in the Jackson County Jail Tuesday have charges of attempting to elude.

While Sheriff Chuck Phillips said these particular run-ins weren't dangerous, he says situations like these easily can be.

"It puts the public in danger when we are chasing these people," said Phillips.

Phillips says Jackson County deputies have seen their fair share of police pursuits.

"They'll be running well over 100 miles per hour, 120 sometimes over on 72," said Phillips.

They're happening more frequently.

"Over the past few months it seems to be quite often," said Phillips.

Phillips says he's not sure why the numbers are rising, but they are getting dangerous.

"Especially motorcycles, when they get out on 72 those crotch-rockets they'll run 140-50 miles per hour," he said.

In January a Jackson County man was trying to escape law enforcement on a motorcycle when he crashed into an SUV and died. That danger is why the sheriff's office is in talks with legislative delegates in Jackson County with hopes of making the misdemeanor charge a felony. He says that could change the jail time from a maximum of 1 year to 10 years.

He says for the most part people are running even when they face less-serious charges, like expired licenses. He believes by making the eluding charge an automatic felony those suspects will weigh their possible charges and stay put - keeping everybody safer.

The state legislature's next regular session starts again in February.

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