Police find parole absconder hiding in swamp after high-speed chase
A parole absconder led police on a high-speed chase with a terrified passenger, then tried to hide in a swamp Monday before officers hauled him out “looking like “The Creature From the Black Lagoon,” Waterloo Township Police Chief Tom Cottrell said.
The chase lasted just 8 minutes as it proceeded over Jackson and Washtenaw County roads, reaching 87 mph on dirt roads, while a woman who had only wanted to go to the store for a pop screamed at the man to stop, Cottrell said.
The chase started about 9:40 a.m. Monday when Jeremy Gerald Mead, 24, of Stockbridge, sped away from Cottrell on M-52 just west of the Washtenaw County line, the Waterloo police chief said. He then fled south on Leeke Road, then into Washtenaw County on Boyce Road, finally ending up on Farnsworth Road, Cottrell said in a press release. That’s where he ran across a hay field and into a state forest area and submerged himself in swamp muck, police said.
It wasn’t Mead’s lucky day, however. Several state police officers were training with dogs in the Stockbridge area. “What a stroke of luck,” Cottrell said. “I called for a dog and six show up. It looked like a State Police convention for a while.”
After about 40 minutes, the canine teams found Mead, who was lying in the muck with his nose sticking out so he could breathe, Cottrell said. “He was literally black from head to foot.”
An ambulance took Mead to Allegiance Health in Jackson after the chase because he admitted to ingesting about a quarter gram of heroin as Cottrell chased him. He told the chief he was worried about the health consequences of ingesting it. No other drugs were found in the car, an older model Oldsmobile Cutlass he had borrowed from a friend.
Before the chase, the chief had gotten a tip Mead would be at his listed residence on M-52. Cottrell called the Department of Corrections fugitive team and was awaiting their arrival when the vehicle a tipster had said Mead was driving left the residence.
“He comes driving out of the driveway,” Cottrell said. “He turned his head and saw me and the chase was on.”
Cottrell said the chase was terrifying for a woman who had gotten in the car with Mead to get a soft drink from the store. “She was waving her arms and screaming,” he said.
Mead has been to prison for a fraud offense and assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer, Cottrell said. Mead is an absconder from parole, according to Department of Corrections records. Cottrell said he would ask the prosecutor’s office to charge Mead with felony fleeing and eluding.
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