Man fleeing during chase rams into Lafayette deputy’s vehicle

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department vehicle was damaged late Tuesday after an Oxford man fleeing from deputies rammed his car into a deputy’s vehicle.

Chief Investigator Alan Wilburn said the deputy was uninjured but the vehicle sustained heavy damage.

According to Wilburn, Panola County Sheriff’s Department contacted the LCSD at about 11 p.m. Tuesday asking for assistance in apprehending a driver in a stolen vehicle that crossed over the county line. Deputies spotted the alleged stolen vehicle near Harmontown and pursued the driver.

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The pursuit ended on Highway 7 South after the driver, identified as Christoper L. Roper, 34, of Oxford, rammed his vehicle into the side of a deputy’s vehicle in an attempt to escape; however, the vehicle came to a stop and responding deputies took Roper into custody.

Roper was charged by Lafayette County with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and felony fleeing and then transferred to Panola County where he will face additional charges.

Earlier on Tuesday, another man was arrested for allegedly stealing a car from the Walmart parking lot in Oxford. Lafayette County deputies responded to the BOLO, or “Be On the Look Out,” issued by OPD and found the vehicle in Abbeville.

According to Wilburn, the driver, identified as Jerry Lee Smith, 25, of Olive Branch, attempted to drive through a gate and the vehicle got stuck. After deputies apprehended Smith, they discovered Smith was in possession of a stolen firearm. Being a convicted felon, Smith was charged with possession of a stolen firearm by a convicted felon and felon carrying a concealed weapon. The Oxford Police Department charged him with theft of a vehicle.

He is being held at the Lafayette County Detention Center awaiting a first appearance bond hearing.