Two men arrested after high-speed police chase

Published 10:18 am Monday, June 13, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
A routine traffic stop ended in a high-speed chase into Florida for Atmore's Police Department early Wednesday morning.
James Elliot Tyler, 50, and Michael Lynn Yepez, 46, both of Michigan, were stopped on South Main Street at 6:45 a.m. on June 8 for a traffic violation. When officers approached the van to gather identification and insurance papers, the traffic stop turned sour.
"As the officers were talking to the gentlemen as far as identification, insurance papers and stuff like that, the vehicle fled," Atmore Police Department Chief Jason Dean said.
As the suspects fled, one Atmore officer was nearly run over. Fortunately for the officer, he was able to get out of the vehicle's path to safety.
The vehicle was later stopped near Van Pelt, Fla. where the occupants fled on foot. They were later apprehended and detained by Escambia County Florida sheriff's deputies.
"We filed attempted assault, first degree, charges on them," Dean said. "When they fled from the officer, he was not in the way, but in the path of the vehicle and of course had to side step from getting struck by the vehicle."
Just as the high-speed chase ended, a handgun was reported found to the Atmore Police Department in the same path the fleeing suspects took. Dean said he doesn't know if the two incidents are related, but it's still under investigation.
"There was a weapon in fact found on South Main Street," he said. "There were two people who were walking that picked up or found a firearm in the ditch on the side of the road. They turned it in to us, but we don't know if it's related."
Dean was notified Friday morning by the Escambia County Florida Sheriff's Office that Tyler and Yepez were being extradited back to Escambia County Alabama where they would be held at the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton on felony charges.
No officers were injured during the chase or the suspects' apprehension.

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