Two arrested, two sought in separate chase cases

Published 4:02 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

While in pursuit of a suspect for driving violations, a Picayune Police officer found another pair of suspects who resisted arrest, requiring the use of an electronic control device to bring one into custody.

The incident occurred on June 15th when an officer on patrol came across 39-year-old Charles Rohrbacker of 322 Liberty Rd., traveling south on Beech Street, who was known to have a suspended driver’s license, said Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri.

A check with dispatch confirmed Rohrbacker’s license was suspended, so the officer pursued the vehicle as it turned down  Union School Road, Magri said.

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The officer witnessed Rohrbacker swerve into oncoming traffic, at which time the officer initiated the patrol vehicle’s blue lights and sirens, Magri said.

Instead of stopping, Rohrbacker fled and turned onto Central Avenue, which is a dead end, Magri said.

Rohrbacker exited the vehicle and fled into the woods, and as the officer gave chase he noticed 30-year-old Marcia Kirby, also of 322 Liberty Rd., was in the passenger seat, Magri said.

Backup was requested and the pursuit continued, until the officer received information that the suspect was seen walking in the Ponderosa subdivision toward Victoria Drive, Magri said.

During the chase in the woods, a Picayune Housing officer saw Kirby get into the vehicle’s driver’s seat and flee the area, Magri said.

As the officer was driving down Victoria Drive looking for Rohrbacker he saw 31-year-old Devin Chuter of 46 Dunhurst Long Rd., standing next a parked vehicle with an unknown person sitting in the driver’s seat.

As the officer passed he noticed the driver duck down as though to hide from view, prompting the officer to see if it was Rohrbacker.

As the officer exited his vehicle to see if the suspect was in the vehicle, he ordered both men to put their hands in the air, at which time the man in the vehicle, later identified as 30-year-old Blake Martin of 100 Monk Mitchell Rd., fled on foot, Magri said.

The officer gave chase and witnessed Martin conceal something in his left hand before the officer caught up with him and placed him on the ground, Magri said.

Martin struggled to break the officer’s hold and threw the object to the ground. As the struggle continued, a backup officer arrived on scene and ordered Martin several times to place his hands behind his back; each time Martin refused, Magri said.

After several more failed attempts to persuade Martin to cease resisting arrest, the officer un-holstered his electronic control device and discharged it, causing Martin to become compliant to officer demands, Magri said.

A search of the item Martin discarded found a cigar pack containing two bags containing a white powder like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine, a glass pipe with burnt residue and a bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana, Magri said.

When the officer returned to talk to Chuter, he had fled the scene. Magri said the officer knocked on the door where the vehicle was parked and requested consent to search the home.

Consent was granted and in the search Chuter was found to be hiding in a bathroom and subsequently taken into custody.

Martin was charged with disorderly conduct failure to comply, resisting arrest by fleeing, resisting arrest by fighting, possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and felony possession of a controlled substance for the methamphetamine, Magri said.

Chuter was charged with disorderly conduct failure to comply and resisting arrest by fleeing for leaving the scene, Magri said.

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Rohrbacker for driving while license suspended, careless driving, disorderly conduct failure to comply, resisting arrest by fleeing and failure to yield to blue lights and sirens and on Kirby for disorderly conduct failure to comply and resisting arrest by fleeing for leaving the scene, Magri said.

Officers are actively seeking Rohrbacker and Kirby.