New Year's Day chase leads Walker Police to drug arrest
WALKER - Walker Police have arrested a man on multiple charges after a traffic stop turned into a chase.
Officers say 32-year-old Joshua Harbin of Independence was driving a green Dodge pickup when they attempted to pull him over for failing to use a turn signal turning onto Brian Park Drive from Walker South Road.
Harbin turned into a parking lot and stopped, according to police. They say he then sped out of the lot onto Brian Park Drive, after which the officer called for back-up and followed him.
Officers say they used extra care through the largely residential area.
"Vehicle pursuits are inherently dangerous, Walker Chief of Police David Addison said. He noted the officer "did a very good job of maintaining visibility of the fleeing vehicle, advising our other units of the location of the pursuit and noting numerous traffic violations committed by the suspect, while exercising the proper caution required under the circumstances."
Harbin eventually turned onto Florida Blvd. at speeds up to 60 mph, ignoring stop signs and driving erratically, according to officers. They say during the pursuit, Harbin forced other drivers off the road.
Walker Police say they blocked the southbound lane of Pendarvis Lane at Florida Blvd. to block other drivers from entering the roadway, and to try and stop Harbin from entering a busier area. The entire roadway was not blocked.
"Doing so would have provided the suspect with no option than to surrender or attempt to run through the barricade and risk that such a scenario presented to other motorist, our Officers, our vehicles and to the suspected was too significant, to justicy that level of force, given the circumstances," Chief Addison said.
Harbin lost control of his vehicle due to driving on a curve in the road at a quick speed, already made slick due to the wet road surface, officers say. Harbin then attempted to flee on foot and was taken into custody after a brief struggle.
Officer say inside Harbin's truck, they found 0.7 grams of marijuana, 3.1 grams of Methamphetamine in bags packaged for sale, 29 syringes with needles, and a set of scales.
A background check revealed Harbin has two outstanding warrants for his arrest, according to police. One was for theft, and the other was for non-support.
Harbin was taken to the Walker Police Department for processing. He was later transported to the Livingston Parish Detention Center for booking.
Harbin was charged was possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute schedule II controlled dangerous substances (Methamphetamine), felony aggravated obstruction of a public roadway, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of hypodermic needle syringes (29), simple possession of methamphetamine, criminal damage to property, outstanding warrant for theft, outstanding warrant for non-support, no proof of insurance, no driver's license, failure to signal, functioning tail lamps required, failure to observe stop signs, no vehicle registration required, and improper lane usage.
Police say additional charges are expected.
Harbin remains in custody at the Livingston Parish Detention Center. His bond is set at $110,053.
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