Pursuit leads to driver’s arrest

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A driver who refused to stop for law enforcement was arrested on multiple charges over the weekend.

Donald Ray Gillins Jr., 41, of the 600 block of Stone St., Minden, was arrested by Minden Police for aggravated flight from an officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under suspension, flashing lights, no insurance and expired registration.

Chief Steve Cropper said Lt. Chris Hammontree, attempted a traffic stop when he heard loud music coming from Gillins’ vehicle.

“Lt. Hammontree was at the intersection of Columbia and East streets, and followed him to Columbia and Cherry,” said the chief. “He could see the vehicle had red, blue and green lights alternately flashing, and the vehicle’s registration had expired.”

Hammontree reportedly tried to initiate a traffic stop on Carolina St., but the vehicle continued, turning right on Cherry. It then proceeded to Columbia and turned right again.

“At that point, Lt. Hammontree activated his emergency siren,” Cropper said. “The vehicle crossed, East, Young and Fulton streets while traveling left of center. It ran a stop sign and cut the corner to the left, coming to a stop on Linden St.”

Cropper said Hammontree held the driver at gunpoint until Off. Jason Lee and Sgt. Donald Brice arrived as backup. Gillins was reportedly taken into custody without incident.

“The vehicle had a strong odor of Marijuana,” Cropper said. “During a vehicle search, officers located a used Marijuana grinder, two cell phones and a gab of Cigarillos under the driver’s seat. A partially smoked Marijuana cigar was in the ash tray.”