Man accused of ramming patrol units during multi-parish chase

James Machado, 24, of Meredith, New Hampshire.
James Machado, 24, of Meredith, New Hampshire.(VPSO)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:59 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 4:31 PM CDT
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Leesville, LA (KPLC) - A suspect has been arrested following a multi-parish chase after authorities say he fled a traffic stop in Sabine Parish.

James A. Machado Jr., age 24, of Meredith, New Hampshire and booked in the VPSO jail on one count of reckless operation; one count of aggravated flight from an officer; five counts of resisting an officer with force or violence, and several other charges.

His bond has not been set. He remains in custody with detainers from the Many Police Department, Shreveport Police Department, and Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office says it was notified of a traffic pursuit out of Sabine Parish around 8:30 a.m. today, Aug. 3, 2022. They say the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office informed them that a truck had fled a traffic stop and was traveling south through Florien and into Vernon Parish. During this time, the driver had managed to avoid spike strips on two separate occasions.

Officers from the Anacoco Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, and Vernon Parish Narcotics Task Force joined in the pursuit.

Authorities say the driver of the vehicle was aggressively attempting to ram police units while traveling south in the northbound lanes of Hwy 171 through Hornbeck and Anacoco towards Leesville.

Sabine Deputies attempted to force a stop of the suspect’s vehicle using pursuit intervention techniques but were unsuccessful. During their attempts, pursuing officers reported that the suspect would laugh and wave at officers as they attempted to stop his vehicle.

After crossing the Vernon Lake Bridge, a Sabine Patrol deputy that was attempting to get resident drivers out of harm’s way was rammed twice by the suspect which forced the deputy’s vehicle off the road and onto its side in a ditch.

When Vernon Parish Detectives attempted to force a stop of the suspect’s vehicle, authorities say the driver rammed their patrol units in an attempt to continue fleeing.

The chase came to an end near the city limits of Leesville when a Vernon Parish Narcotics Agent struck the vehicle head-on with her patrol unit in order to prevent him from entering the city. Both vehicles would come to a halt at the traffic median where officers from multiple agencies surrounded the vehicle and were forced to break the driver’s window in order to remove the suspect from his vehicle.

After the suspect was transported to the Vernon Parish Jail, authorities learned that the suspect’s vehicle was reported stolen in an armed car jacking out of Shreveport. Currently, the suspect is refusing to identify himself to law enforcement. Authorities say he is expected to face numerous criminal charges in multiple jurisdictions.

Both the Sabine Parish Deputy who was forced into a ditch and the Narcotics Agent that rammed the suspect’s vehicle suffered only minor injuries though their vehicles received significant damage.

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