Police: Man fled traffic stop in stolen truck
Published: February 20, 2013
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ST. CROIX - A man who was arrested last weekend on reckless endangerment and related charges stemming from a December 2011 case, made his initial court appearance Tuesday morning.
Dwayne Hendricks appeared before Magistrate Judge Jessica Gallivan and was advised of his rights on charges of third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a vehicle, interfering with an officer discharging his duties and operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license.
According to the affidavit filed in V.I. Superior Court in support of the arrest warrant, V.I. Police Officer Lawrence James Jr. said that at 11:12 a.m. Dec. 15, 2011, emergency dispatchers received a call reporting three suspicious vehicles in the area of W.I.M. Hodge housing community in Frederiksted.
When officers arrived, they saw the three vehicles - a Ford Escape, a Chevrolet S-10 and a Ford Explorer - driving out of the housing community, and they pulled them over for a traffic stop, according to James.
Officers said the Escape and Explorer stopped, but the S-10 truck stopped only long enough to reverse and turn around in the area and speed in the opposite direction, back into the housing community.
Two officers followed the truck on their all-terrain vehicles with lights and sirens and watched the truck speed through the housing community, narrowly missing adults and children who were walking, standing or playing outside, according to James.
The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Hendricks, spun the truck around again in the roadway and began barreling toward police at a high rate of speed, forcing the officers off the road and over an embankment, James said. At that time, the driver lost control of the truck, and it ran into a police vehicle, and Hendricks and an unidentified passenger jumped from the vehicle and ran from the area on foot, according to James.
Police K-9 units were brought in to help to locate the two people but were unsuccessful, but residents in the area identified Hendricks as the person they had seen driving the truck earlier around the housing community, police said. The owner of the truck told police that the truck had been stolen, according to James' affidavit.
Following Hendricks' advice-of-rights hearing Tuesday, defense attorney Hanibal O'Bryan asked the court to allow Hendricks to be released on an unsecured bond in the amount of the bail, which had been set at $25,000.
O'Bryan said Hendricks had prior arrests and convictions, but he had never failed to appear for court and had never violated any of his conditions of release. Having a third-party custodian in addition to the standard conditions of release should be enough to ensure that the community is safe and that Hendricks shows up for court hearings, O'Bryan said.
Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Poole Davis said that based on Hendricks' criminal history, which includes convictions for assault and battery, weapons possession and third-degree assault, the court should require at least a 10 percent surety to be posted.
O'Bryan argued that bail is to ensure safety and appearance and that increasing the financial hardship on the defendant at this point serves no purpose.
Gallivan said that because the incident occurred more than a year ago and the warrant was issued four months ago and Hendricks has had no infractions or violations of the law in that time, she would permit him to sign an unsecured bond along with his third-party custodian. Gallivan also ruled that Hendricks must stay away from the victims and witnesses in the case and abide by a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.