OUR VIEW: Not pulling over makes things worse

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

In recent weeks, there have been at least three instances of individuals ignoring the flashing lights of police officers demanding they pull their car over, with two of those incidents resulting in accidents.

The first incident occurred in West Point, and it wasn’t a high-speed chase, nor did it endanger anyone, but police didn’t know that at the time.

Bryan Douglas Edwards, 36, apparently just wanted to go home before being charged with obstruction of an officer.

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According to West Point Police Captain Kevin Carter, officers spotted Edwards driving a vehicle in West Point, and knew he didn’t have a valid driver’s license, so they attempted to pull him over. However, Edwards did not to stop, driving at about 30 mph until he reached his home at on Highway 29 in West Point.

Carter said Edwards stopped, got out of his car and went inside his home. About five minutes later, Edwards’ girlfriend walked out of the home and told police there were guns in the house.

Carter said SWAT entered the home to take Edwards into custody without an issue, but still, it was a scary situation that all are glad ended peacefully.

This seems like a situation that could have been avoided with just simply pulling over. We understand that being on the wrong side of a traffic stop isn’t usually a fun experience. It typically means the driver did something wrong.

However, failing to stop for police compounds the problem. In Edwards’ case, it’s likely he would have been arrested for not having a driver’s license, and once again, that’s not fun. But, it seems unnecessary to make the problem worse and add more charges.

A similar situation happened Thursday morning when Valley police officers attempted to make a stop on a vehicle on Highway 29. The driver accelerated and lost control of their vehicle and hit a utility pole in front of Krystal, causing the restaurant to lose power.

Valley Police Major Mike Reynolds said the driver had to go to the hospital due to injuries from the crash.

We haven’t been able to confirm why the driver didn’t stop or why the police were making the stop, but we’re guessing the result most likely wasn’t worth wrecking a vehicle, heading to the hospital and causing customers to miss out a few Krystals in the morning.

The third recent incident is much more severe.

On Tuesday evening, William Yarbrough allegedly refused to stop for Chambers County deputies on County Road 212. This resulted in deputies placing spike strips on County Road 222, forcing Yarbrough to wreck his vehicle.

According to police, Yarbrough then fled into the woods and was found the next day inside his previous residence, where he once again ran from Lanett officers this time, only be to hit with a Taser. He was taken to the hospital for his injuries and then taken into custody by Chambers County deputies.

Refusing to stop for officers turns an unpleasant situation into an agitated situation for everyone involved. When a person doesn’t stop, the police have to assume it could be a dangerous situation, not only for the officer but for the general public nearby.

The driver is drawing large amounts of attention to themselves by running from police officers, but they are facing more charges than they would have in the beginning by merely pulling the car to the side of the road.

It doesn’t matter if that person is guilty or innocent because the second they refuse to comply with a traffic stop they are guilty of attempting to elude.

If you get stopped by a police officer, pull over. If you were speeding, you might get a ticket, but that’ll be a lot easier to deal with than a charge for running from police.