To flee or not to flee? That is the question

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 27, 2015

Thursday the city of Picayune was abuzz with rumors of a man who had taken a hostage and barricaded himself in the home.

While some of the information proved to be untrue, especially the part about the hostage, what did occur was a man attempting to flee the law to avoid being stopped for a simple traffic violation.

While an exact reason of what prompted him to flee is unknown, law enforcement agencies did have warrants on record for his arrest, but those too were for misdemeanor offenses.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Instead of stopping for the officer when the initial traffic stop was attempted, the man chose to flee at a high rate of speed, through a stop sign and essentially put the public in danger.

Fortunately no one was injured as a result of this man’s behavior.

After a more than three-hour standoff, officers eventually had to use tear gas to prompt the man to give himself up.

What could have been a dangerous situation, especially since the man had four guns in the home, was diffused by the use of extensive training on how to handle just such a situation. 

Since the danger of a him using the guns was a consideration the Picayune Police Department made the right call in requesting assistance, which included the Pearl River County Sheriff Department’s SWAT team.  

While SWAT training may not be used on a daily basis, their expertise comes in handy when a situation such as Thursday’s event arises. 

They expertly surrounded the home, and tactically shot tear gas grenades into the home, which created a less than comfortable environment for the suspect.

What everyone can learn from this incident, other than that our local law enforcement agencies are ready, and able to protect the public’s safety, is that it might just be better to pull over and accept a ticket, and possibly face the outstanding warrants, rather than run from the law and create a dangerous situation that places the public at risk of injury.