Family questions police chase
BATON ROUGE - Thursday afternoon, the Baton Rouge Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and Louisiana State Police were giving chase after they say a man violated a traffic law.
EBRSO says their Special Community Anti Crime Team in conjunction with BRAVE observed a maroon vehicle driving erratically and failed to signal. When they attempted to stop the vehicle with sirens and lights, driver Eric Jones refused to stop.
The chase took law enforcement across the city, on the interstate and around north Baton Rouge. EBRSO says the highest reported speed was 40 mph and speeds were about 60 on the interstate. Along the route, the chase attracted additional units, at one point, WBRZ News 2 cameras show 25 units following the suspect over an interstate bridge.
Jones' grandmother, Geraldine Jones says he was driving home.
"He just was in a panic," she said. "He was scared after seeing that many officers."
The pursuit lasted an hour and didn't stop until Jones crashed his car in a ditch across from his house. Police broke the car window and pulled Jones from the car. At least 20 deputies and police surrounded him while he was detained.
Family and friends says the police presence was not necessary.
"It was not necessary to have that many police officers for that one person," said Jones. "You would have thought he had killed somebody."
An EBRSO spokesperson says having no knowledge of the driver's history, the sheriff's office made it their job to ensure the safety of others.
The sheriff's office reports eight of their units were on scene, state police had three and no emergency calls were held because of the pursuit. BRPD did not release any numbers and says its investigation continues.
Jones is facing a number of charges, including fleeing from an officer, failure to signal, and open container.