A Salem man faces multiple felony charges after an incident early Thursday in which he led a Texas County Sheriff’s Department on a high-speed vehicular chase and allegedly assaulted him, according to a report.
Tommy J. Johnson, 41, of 1010 E. Pace St. in Salem, faces felony charges of third-degree assault – special victim and resisting arrest by fleeing, along with a misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid license. Bond is set at $750,000.
At about 12:03 a.m., a deputy was advised that Dent County deputies had been in pursuit of a black two-door Honda car. At about 12:53, the officer reportedly observed a car matching the description traveling east on Highway VV near Shipp Drive.
The deputy began pursuing the car with lights and siren activated, but it kept going at speeds approaching 90 miles per hour, often crossing the centerline, according to the report. The officer observed the car do a U-turn and begin traveling westbound (nearly striking a mailbox and going through the ditch line in the process), and then saw it take several blind corners in the eastbound lane, according to the report.
The deputy said he observed the car pull into a private drive and attempt to run around in the residence’s yard, but it skidded due to an incline and struck the officer’s patrol vehicle.
The car stalled, and the driver, Johnson, fled on foot, according to the report. The deputy pursued and Johnson eventually stopped and faced the officer with both hands clenched in fists. He later punched the officer in the left jaw. The officer eventually handcuffed and took the suspect to the Texas County Jail.
A passenger in the car was not located.