Low-speed, high-speed chases keep APD busy

Published 7:41 pm Monday, February 26, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
A heavy-footed Walnut Hill, Fla. man led Atmore Police Department officers on a high-speed chase that zigzagged through the streets of Atmore and ended in Poarch Thursday afternoon.
Despite several close calls and near misses, officers were able to detain Michael Moss, 31, without any innocent motorists being harmed during the chase.
According to a report issued by the APD, two Atmore officers witnessed Moss make an illegal turn in his maroon Ford pickup and attempted to pull him over on North Main Street. Moss refused to pull over and began leading officers on the high-speed chase that lasted nearly 15 minutes.
During the chase, which went back-and-forth between Hwy. 21 and Sunset Drive, Moss reached speeds of nearly 70 mph and drove recklessly. When officers attempted to block his path to end the chase, Moss drove through a field and a residential yard to escape. The driver continued to flee from officers and drove back to Highway 21.
Once on Hwy. 21, agents from the 21st Judicial Task Force and officers with the Alabama State Troopers Office and Poarch Police Department joined in the chase. All throughout the chase the driver was throwing objects, which were thought to be illegal narcotics, out the windows of his vehicle, according to police reports.
Moss then led the convoy, which consisted of five Atmore police cruisers, one undercover vehicle, a state trooper cruiser and one Poarch undercover vehicle, onto Smith Dairy Road and then onto Jack Springs Road. Moss finally voluntarily stopped his vehicle in the Poarch community after cracking his radiator.
Moss was taken into custody without any resistance. Upon questioning, police officers learned that Moss was on state probation. He was charged with reckless endangerment, littering, fleeing and attempting to elude, driving while license was revoked and numerous traffic violations including running several stop signs.
The night prior to the high-speed chase, officers encountered a wanted motorist in no hurry to flee officers, leading them on a low-speed chase.
According to police reports, an off-duty reserve sheriff's deputy reported to the Atmore Police Department Wednesday night that Vernon Gamble, 37, who has active felony warrants with Escambia County Sheriff's Office, had been spotted at Marvin's.
An Atmore police officer responded to the call and spotted Gamble driving a mini-van that had no license plate leaving Marvin's parking lot. At around 6:30 p.m. the officer attempted to pull over Gamble, but he refused to stop, leading the officer on a chase that never broke the speed limit.
The officer chased Gamble north onto South Main Street for a brief distance before Gamble started turning down several side streets to attempt to elude the officers. Other Atmore policemen responded to the call and were able to obstruct Gamble's escape route. After a brief struggle, Gamble was taken into custody and transported to the Escambia County Detention Center by a sheriff's deputy for outstanding warrants. Gamble was also charged with resisting arrest and many traffic violations, including fleeing and attempting to elude, by the Atmore Police Department.

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