Near accident leads to pursuit, arrest

After a Ruston Police officer was nearly struck by an inattentive driver who then attempted to flee, a brief pursuit led to the suspect’s arrest.

Officer A. Eleam was traveling eastbound on Interstate 20 about 2 a.m. Thursday morning when a blue Mazda traveling in the adjacent lane swerved over into the officer’s lane almost striking the patrol car. The officer attempted to stop the Mazda, but it continued east on I-20, increasing its speed and passing other cars on the shoulder.  Eleam clocked the vehicle on radar at 140 miles per hour in the 70 mph zone during the pursuit. 

The suspect attempted to elude officers by exiting into the eastbound rest area near Choudrant where it was blocked in by multiple 18-wheelers. Officers ordered the driver out of the car and identified him as Casey M. Cooks, 25, of Calcasieu, Louisiana. 

Cooks said he realized he nearly struck the patrol car, but he did so accidentally as he was looking at the navigation app on his cell phone. He said he did not pull over because he thought there was a warrant for his arrest, and he had a marijuana “roach” in the car.

Cooks was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for reckless operation of a vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, passing on the shoulder and driving under suspension/revocation.  Bail was set at $32,000.

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