St. Croix man arrested on traffic, drug charges after leading police on chase
Published: September 12, 2013
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ST. CROIX - A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with myriad traffic offenses after he led police on a brief car chase Tuesday.
Laquan Hill, of Hannah's Rest appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho on Wednesday and was advised of his rights on charges of operating a vehicle in a reckless manner; operating a vehicle in a negligent fashion; operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license; leaving the scene of an accident; failure to stop for a siren; failure to stop at a traffic light; failure to report a traffic accident; simple possession of marijuana; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Camacho advised Hill that if he is tried and convicted on all of the charges against him he would face a combined sentence of just more than five years in prison and an $8,000 fines. He also would be prohibited from applying for a driver's license for two years.
According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by V.I. Police Officer Darius George, he was traveling to a call in the Frederiksted area Tuesday morning when he saw a white Honda Civic run the red light at the Queen Mary Highway intersection at Hannah's Rest, heading westward.
George said he turned on his lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop, instead increasing his speed and driving in a reckless manner, narrowly squeezing his vehicle between two other vehicles on the roadway.
George said Hill brought the car to a sudden stop at the end of the road, near W.I.M. Hodge housing community and Arthur Richards Junior High School. The sudden stop left 191-foot skid marks in the road, which is an indication of how fast Hill had been traveling in a school zone, according to George.
George said Hill and the two other occupants got out of the car and were detained. Hill admitted to having no driver's license and said he had just purchased the car and had not transferred the registration to his name.
George said he conducted a registration check with dispatchers and was notified that Hill's vehicle had just been involved in a hit-and-run accident about a mile from where he was seen running the red light.
According to George's report, one of the occupants confirmed under questioning that they had been in an accident and that they got out of the car and were arguing with the other driver before they all jumped back into the vehicle and left the scene.
George said the vehicle was inventoried before being impounded, and police found a small bag of marijuana, rolling paper, tobacco and a gas mask with a bong attached, that they say tested positive for the chemical found in marijuana.
Bail for Hill was initially set at $10,000, but the defense counsel requested a bail reduction, saying the charges, though they are serious offenses when combined, are all misdemeanors.
Camacho set bail at $1,000 and allowed Hill to post 10 percent of the bond. However, he remains jailed unable to meet the condition of release because he could not provide a suitable third-party custodian.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.