By THOMAS JENKINS
A Big Spring man and woman remain in custody at the Howard County Detention Center today following a short car chase late Tuesday night with law enforcement officers that ended in the 3800 block of Rice Road in the southeastern part of the county.
Ricky Lee Tate, 25, of 1900 Martin Luther King Blvd. Apt. 601, was arrested on charges of assault on a public servant, resisting arrest, search or transportation, tampering/fabricating physical evidence, manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, abandoning/endangering a child — criminal negligence and evading arrest or detention using a vehicle.
Also arrested following the pursuit was 20-year-old Amy Morgan Prikryl, of 3803 Connally, on charges of interfering with the duties of a public servant, abandoning/endangering a child – criminal negligence and resisting arrest, search or transportation.
According to Sheriff Stan Parker, the pursuit began at approximately 11:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 2700 block of U.S. Highway 350 when a law enforcement officer attempted to stop the vehicle driven by Tate for an expired registration certificate.
“When the law enforcement officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver took off, engaging the officer in a high speed pursuit,” Parker said. “The driver made it to the 3800 block of Rice Road, where he tried to get away on foot. While running, the suspect attempted to throw away some suspected narcotics. The officer pursued him and took him into custody shortly after that.”
Parker said the situation took a bizarre turn.
“While deputies were attempting to take Tate into custody, the female suspect got out of the car,” Parker said. “She tried to prevent the law enforcement officers from arresting Tate, all the while with a child in her arms. The officers were able to take both suspects into custody without any serious injuries to either of them and no injuries to the child.”
Officials with Child Protective Services were called and took custody of the child, while both Prikryl and Tate were booked into the county detention center, according to arrest records.
Bond has been set at a total of $16,500 for Tate — including $5,000 for assault on a public servant and $2,500 for abandoning/endangering a child – criminal negligence — and $5,500 for Prikryl, including $2,500 for abandoning/endangering a child – criminal negligence.
Parker said Tate was subdued during the struggle using a taser.
“He was taken to the emergency room at Scenic Mountain Medical Center, where he was treated and released,” Parker said. “That’s standard procedure any time a suspect is subdued using a taser. Neither suspect sustained any kind of serious injuries.”
While high-speed pursuits ending in arrests aren’t all that uncommon, Parker said pursuits involving a small child are still very unsettling for law enforcement officers.
“In a situation like this, the decision to engage in a high-speed chase with officers while there’s a child in the vehicle is really hard to understand, both as a peace officer and a parent,” Parker said. “To put the child in additional danger by involving them in a physical struggle with officers is even worse. It’s really hard to understand how a parent could place their child in such a dangerous situation.”
Contact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org