Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies, along with Caledonia Town Marshal Ben Kilgore, chased Michael Ray Helms from Wolf Road in Caledonia onto Land Road just past Columbus Air Force Base on Highway 45 North, where Helms rammed his car into a deputy’s patrol car before being pushed into a ditch and captured. Photo by: Kelly Tippett Buy this photo.
October 5, 2011 12:02:00 PM
CALEDONIA -- A wanted felon led local law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase down the narrow, winding roads of Caledonia Tuesday afternoon before he was finally captured.
Michael Ray Helms, 34, of 40137 Seely Road in Hamilton, first appeared on Caledonia Town Marshall Ben Kilgore's radar when he attempted to use a stolen credit card at the Texaco on Wolf Road around 2 p.m.
Kilgore was called in to investigate, but Helms jumped in his car during questioning and fled the scene, with Kilgore in pursuit. Lowndes County Sheriff's Deputies Larry Swearingen and Scott Glasgow joined Kilgore shortly afterwards to offer backup.
Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Investigator Travis Robertson said at times the chase topped speeds of more than 100 miles per hour, with the suspect eventually crossing Highway 45 near Columbus Air Force Base and crashing his car in a ditch on Land Road. He came out of the ditch and rammed the driver's side and front bumper of Swearingen's car, at which point Swearingen "floored his car, pushed him into a ditched and pinned the vehicle in the ditch."
When the three officers attempted to pull Helms from the car, he was "very combative," so they subdued him with a Taser, Robertson said. Helms was handcuffed and taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where he was treated for injuries and released into custody at the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center.
Helms was charged with felony evading and eluding, several counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and credit card fraud. Robertson said additional felony charges may be pending. In addition to being wanted by the Mississippi Department of Corrections, he is also wanted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.
Robertson said it was fortunate that no one was injured during the incident, especially since it happened shortly before area schools' dismissals.
"It ended very well, considering," Robertson said. "It could have been a lot worse ... this guy really needed to be gotten off the streets, which is exactly what we did."
Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.
monroeme commented at 10/7/2011 10:53:00 AM:
This crackhead was supposed to be serving a 19year sentence, but was released(MDOC Website says 9-24-11) He was wanted by Lowndes, Monroe and the MDOC in less then 2 weeks of release?
1. Busted: Lowndes narcotics agents stay on top of drug crimes COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Hollywood comes to Columbus COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY