Report of underage drinking party leads to two arrests

Two others taken into custody in unrelated case

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

August 10, 2008 - Law enforcement officers were kept hopping overnight Friday, chasing teen-agers who fled from what was reported as an underage drinking party, as well as young men alleged to have stolen a truck from Mount Pleasant, then stripped it to sell parts in Hopkins County, according to arrest reports. In each separate incident, two men were arrested.

The first arrests, of Cumby 19-year-olds, were made late Friday. Deputies responded at 10:40 p.m. at the intersection of County Road 1151 at CR 1146, where the minors were said to be drinking in the road while on dirt bikes.

Deputy Corley Weatherford stopped a tan pickup as suspicious: it had three dirt bikes in the bed and was in the area of the reported party. The driver didn't have a driver's license and indicated he and his cousin, Jeramie Burns, who was right behind him, were both 19. He told the deputy they were the only ones in the area.

Soon a white pickup truck topped the hill coming in behind the tan pickup. When the deputy stepped out and yelled at the truck to stop, it backed up, "cut a donut" and headed east on CR 1146. Weatherford initiated a pursuit. Other deputies were notified and a short chase began. The white pickup continued traveling east at a high rate of speed.

Deputy Paul Fenimore headed toward the area, going south on County Road 1151, noticed a white pickup approaching the deputy's patrol truck. The white pickup continued moving toward the patrol vehicle, even after the deputy activated his overhead lights to alert him to his presence and stop him. The truck continued forward, drove into the ditch to pass the deputy, coming within inches of striking the patrol vehicle. Fenimore alerted others of the situation, and deputies continued to pursue the white pickup to FM 1567, where they lost site of the suspect.

Deputies continued to look for the white truck, with Weatherford taking the driver of the tan truck into custody.

The 19-year-old Cumby teen exhibited indicators of intoxication. He admitted to drinking about 15 beers around 5:30-6:30 p.m., and that there was a beer in the bed of the truck and marijuana in the console. Eight beers and two alcohol "lemonades" were found in the rear of the tan truck, an open container of beer in the passenger seat, and marijuana found in an eyeglass case in the passenger compartment.

He was arrested for minor driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and no driver's license.

Deputies and Cumby police received information regarding the possible whereabouts of the second teen who fled in the white truck. Jeramie Ryan Burns, 19, was located about 11:30 p.m. on FM 275 south at his parents' residence and positively identified by the deputy as the man who'd narrowly missing striking his truck.

As Burns was being arrested for felony evading arrest with a vehicle, deputies detected alcohol on the man's breath. He began resisting officers' efforts to place handcuffs on him, according to reports, fighting them after being ordered to stop by officers and his parents. He was wrestled to the floor, where he was finally taken into custody.

Burns continued to be verbally abusive toward and non-compliant with officers, authorities wrote in reports. Once in the patrol truck, he hit his head against the truck window and the partition glass, and continued to be verbally abusive toward officials. He was put in a padded cell at the jail for his safety. In addition to evading arrest, he was also charged with resisting arrest.

The second set of arrests were the result of combined efforts by sheriff's deputies and Sulphur Springs police. Midnight shift police notified deputies around 2 a.m. that they were working on something they thought might connect to a theft case. The deputies had located a red truck reported stolen in Mount Vernon earlier in the day. It had been stripped down and abandoned in a pasture.

They contacted Alejandro Maldenado Govea, 20, of Sulphur Springs. After being interviewed, he admitted to having stolen wheels and tires from the stolen pickup. He took sheriff's deputies and investigators to a location on a private road off County Road 2310, where they found the wheels and tires in his truck behind a trailer house. He admitted he knew the articles were stolen and was arrested on County Road 3311 south of FM 2310 for theft.

The investigation also pointed to Ricardo Duran Pantoja, 19, of Sulphur Springs. Officers went to the man's Bill Bradford street residence, where he was interviewed about the stolen pickup. Pantoja admitted to sheriff's investigators that he stole it in Mount Pleasant, transported it to Hopkins County and sold parts off of it. Pantoja was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008