A truck driven by John Garcia of Plano, Texas sits in the ditch on Interstate 20 after crossing over spike strips while leading police on a high-speed chase. Bruce Franklin/Press-Herald
Montelonga
Montelonga
Garcia
Garcia

The Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Minden Police Department assisted in a high speed chase that ended in Bossier Parish.

Webster Parish chief deputy Bobby Igo Jr. says they received a call for assistance from Bienville Parish just after 10 a.m. Tuesday when a man was coming through the parish at a high rate of speed.

“It started around the 61 mile marker on I-20 on a traffic stop,” he said. “The alleged passenger of that vehicle ended up jumping behind the wheel, and they started a high speed chase which started eastbound, but he turned westbound.”

He says about four units from Webster joined the chase around the 52 mile marker and led the way through the parish, and when they arrived at Exit 47 (the Minden/Sibley exit), the driver got off where the Minden Police Department put out spike strips. The driver went around the spike strips and got back on to I-20 and the chase continued to Bossier Parish.

The Louisiana State Police, by this time had also joined in the chase, says Bienville chief deputy Randy Price, and just on the other side of the parish line, spike strips were again put out, which caught the front driver’s tire of the truck in question.

“About mile marker 34, he hit the spike strips and the driver’s front tire blew off; the tire just shreds,” Price said. “The rim is still on the truck, but the tire just disintegrated.”

By that time, six or seven units from all agencies were there and were able to take him into custody without incident.

Price says the incident began when deputies conducted a traffic stop on the truck for speeding.

“Our units were out working traffic this morning, and one of the deputies clocked a vehicle going 86 in the eastbound lane of I-20,” Price said. “He initiates a traffic stop, approaches the vehicle, and the vehicle is being driven by a female at that particular time.”

The deputy smells a strong odor consistent with that of marijuana coming from inside. He says she is asked to step out of the vehicle and come to the back, to which she complies.
“He radios another deputy who was close by working traffic,” Price said. “That other deputy arrived on scene, pulled up behind the other deputy’s unit, at which time Garcia jumps into the driver’s seat, takes off and almost immediately cuts across the median and heads west. The female was left there; he took off just that fast.”

The two deputies engage in a pursuit, and another unit was coming to the scene to take care of her, Price says. Meanwhile, she hitched a ride before the third deputy could arrive, he said.
When the parishes eastbound were notified, they received a call that she had been detained in Rayville in Richland Parish, he said.

The vehicle was brought back to Bienville Parish, and following the retention of a search warrant, deputies discovered suspected marijuana and a pipe commonly used for smoking marijuana, along with a blow torch inside.

John Albert Garcia, 27, of Plano, Texas, was charged with aggravated flight from an officer, improper lane usage, reckless operation of a vehicle, resisting by giving false information, two counts of possession of a Schedule I CDS (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and a hold was placed on him for charges of drug trafficking out of Texas and Arkansas. A hold will also be placed on him for charges in Webster. No bond has been set.

Caress Nicole Montelonga, 22, of Dallas, was cited for speeding 86 in a 70 mile per hour zone, resisting an officer by flight, two counts of possession of a Schedule I CDS (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. No bond has been set.

Igo says Garcia faces charges in Webster for speeding and aggravated flight from an officer.

“I want to emphasize how well all the agencies worked together for the safety of the suspect as well as the units,” he said. “It was good teamwork with the state, Bienville and ourselves. The communication was just really, really good.”

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