PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 24, 2013

Two arrested after high speed chase in Orange County


The Port Arthur News

ORANGE — Two people are behind bars after leading law enforcement on a high speed chase in Orange County on Wednesday night.

Narcotics Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a black Dodge Charger at about 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 on FM 1442 just north of FM 105 near the Orangefield area of Orange County.  

When the vehicle did not immediately begin to stop, other Sheriff’s Office Deputies with emergency lights and sirens also got involved and the vehicle began to flee at a high rate of speed, according to a press release from Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

 When the vehicle reached Interstate Highway 10, it proceeded westbound on the Interstate at speeds reaching excess of 100 mph.  Deputies reportedly observed the driver of the fleeing vehicle toss a pistol out of the passenger side window onto the roadway.

 While deputies pursued the fleeing vehicle, other deputies were able to stop and collect the pistol that was thrown by the suspect. The pursuit exited the Interstate at FM 1132, and then proceeded back eastbound onto IH-10. The drive continued driving at excessive speeds then exited at FM 1136 and traveled to State Highway 12.  From there, the suspect led deputies east toward Newton County and then to County Road 7079, where the driver and a passenger left the vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded area.  

The passenger, identified as Jessica Diane Smith, 25, was located hiding in the woods by deputies. The driver, who was later identified as Jeremy James Wimberly, 37, was not immediately found. With the assistance of the City of Beaumont Police Department K-9 unit, Wimberly was located in the wooded area by the tracking dog and was apprehended. The City of Orange Police Department also assisted in the pursuit and apprehension.  

It was discovered that the pistol that Wimberly threw from the vehicle was stolen out of Louisiana. Wimberly and Smith were arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail Facility. Wimberly was booked for evading detention with prior conviction, which is a felony, possession of a stolen firearm-state jail felony, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, which is a felony and tampering with physical evidence.   Wimberly was arraigned by Judge David Peck and his bond totals $85,000.

Jessica Smith was booked for evading detention, a misdemeanor, and tampering with physical evidence.  Smith was also arraigned by Judge David Peck and her bond totaled $8,500.  Both Smith and Wimberly remain in custody at the Orange County Jail.