Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Independence man arrested on drug & traffic charges in Walker

Independence man arrested on drug & traffic charges in Walker
Posted: Jan 5, 2017
Categories: Front Page, Crime
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ATTEMPTED TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN PURSUIT, DRUG ARREST

(WALKER, LA) Walker Police began the New Year with a vehicle pursuit and drug arrest following an attempted routine traffic stop, according to Walker Police Captain John Sharp. The mid-morning incident began on Walker South Road after a Walker Officer stopped a man driving a green Dodge pickup for a traffic infraction. While patrolling along Walker South Road near Brian Park Drive on New Years morning, Officer Clint Walker noticed the vehicle in front of him had a tail light that was not functioning,Captain Sharp explained. The motorist then turned right onto Brian Park Drive without signaling, causing Officer Walker to initiate a traffic stop.

When Walker Police signaled for the man to pull over, the vehicle turned into the parking lot of a nearby business and stopped. As Officer Walker exited his police car and approached the vehicle, the motorist suddenly accelerated out of the parking lot and headed west on Brian Park Drive at a high rate of speed,Captain Sharp explained. Our Officer returned to his vehicle and followed the fleeing motorist, notifying Walker Dispatch of the pursuit, and requesting that other units converge on the area. Despite Officer Walkers use of his emergency lights and siren, the motorist displayed no signs of stopping.

Because Brian Park Drive is the entrance to a large residential area, extra care during the pursuit was required. Vehicle pursuits are inherently dangerous,said Walkers newly elected Chief of Police, David Addison. Officer Walker did a very good job of maintaining visibility of the fleeing vehicle, advising our other units of the location of the pursuit and noting numerous traffic violations committed by the suspect, while exercising the proper caution required under the circumstances.

The fleeing motorist traveled down Brian Park to Pleasant Ridge Drive and then to Pendarvis Lane where he turned north toward Florida Blvd. Officer Walker reported that the motorist was traveling at speeds of up to 60 mph, ignoring stop signs & driving left of the center line of the roadway, endangering human life,reported Captain Sharp. During the pursuit, the motorist forced several vehicles off the roadway in his attempt to escape, indicating an indifference for the potential of harming others and causing damage to property.

In an effort to limit southbound traffic on Pendarvis and the pursuit continued north, Walker Police blocked the southbound lane of Pendarvis at Florida Blvd. We did not want additional traffic on Pendarvis, heading into the path of the pursuit, and therefore the southbound lane of Pendarvis was closed,Chief Addison stated. We were also concerned that the suspect would reach Florida Boulevard and turn west toward Denham Springs where the higher traffic volume would increase the chance of a traffic accident. However, without sufficient information concerning the suspects motivation to elude capture, we could not justify blockading Pendarvis completely. Doing so would have provided the suspect with no option other than to surrender or attempt to run through the barricade and the risk that such a scenario presented to other motorist, our Officers, our vehicles and to the suspect was too significant, to justify that level of force, given the circumstances.

Concerns over the best way to safely conclude the pursuit were put to rest when the suspect ran off the road and struck a culvert near Florida Blvd. “As the suspect approached the intersection of Pendarvis and Florida Boulevard, he entered a curve where

the road design, combined with the suspect’s excessive speed and a wet road surface caused the suspect to lose control of his truck and leave the roadway,” Captain Sharp stated. “At that point, the suspect’s vehicle struck a culvert, rendering the truck inoperable. Still unwilling to surrender however, the suspect exited the truck and attempted to flee on foot. Despite those efforts, our Officers were able to quickly reach him and after a brief struggle, the suspect was taken into custody.
Following their apprehension of the suspect, Walker Officers identified him as Joshua Harbin (32) of Independence, LA. Walker Officers then inspected the Dodge pickup Harbin had been driving.
While searching Mr. Harbin’s truck, our Officers found 0.7 grams of marijuana, 3.1 grams of Methamphetamine in bags packaged for sale, 29 hypodermic syringes with needles and a set of scales of the type generally used for weighing narcotics,” Captain Sharp stated. “In addition, a background check of Mr. Harbin revealed two outstanding warrants for his arrest; one for theft and the other for non-support.

Harbin was taken to the Walker Police Department for processing, then transported to the Livingston Parish Detention Center for booking. “Mr. Harbin was charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances (Methamphetamine), Felony Aggravated Obstruction of a Public Roadway, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Hypodermic Needle Syringes (29), Simple Possession of Methamphetamine, Criminal Damage to Property, Outstanding Warrant for Theft, Outstanding Warrant for Non-Support, No Proof of Insurance, No Driver’s License, Failure to Signal, Functioning Tail Lamps Required, Failure to Observe Stop Signs, No Vehicle Registration Required, and Improper Lane Usage,” Captain Sharp reported. “Additional charges are expected.”

Harbin remains in custody at the Livingston Parish Detention Center, with bond set at $110,053.00.

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