High-speed chase ends in muddy Butler County field

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BUTLER COUNTY, Mo. -- Footprints across a muddy field led officers to a suspected parole violator following a high-speed chase before 8 p.m. Thursday between Poplar Bluff and Fisk.

Michael Arin Slavings Jr., 34, of the 1300 block of Garner Street in Poplar Bluff was arrested on three warrants and on suspicion of 15 new charges, including armed criminal action and felony resisting arrest. He was booked in the Butler County jail.

James Skinner, a Butler County deputy sheriff, was on routine patrol on Route B east of Poplar Bluff when he spotted a pickup without a license plate light. A license plate check revealed it was registered to a different vehicle.

According to Skinner's report, the driver allegedly refused to stop and turned north on County Road 565. There was one passenger in the truck. Then the driver, later identified as Slavings, went east on U.S. 60 at 80 mph.

"He turned south onto [Route] DD and was going into Fisk at 90 mph," Skinner said in his report. "Then, he went west on Highway 51 at 80 mph."

Skinner's report also indicated Slavings "drove down the center of the road and moved back into the westbound lane each time he met an oncoming vehicle."

There were three oncoming vehicles.

Slavings then continued west on Route B and turned south on Route VV. He was traveling at 80 mph on Route VV before he turned into a driveway in the 1100 block of Route VV.

"He drove through the yard and 150 yards into a field where the truck got stuck. Then, he ran south across the field," Skinner stated.

The passenger, Ryan Matthew Loberg, 29, of the 1100 block of Route VV, stayed in the truck and told Skinner Slavings was wanted on a warrant for parole violation.

Chuck Harris, a Poplar Bluff Police Department patrolman, was one of the officers who responded to help Skinner.

"I followed footprints across the muddy field and found Slavings lying in grass against a tree," Harris said in his report.

While being questioned, Slavings initially said, his cousin was driving the truck.

Slavings was arrested on a parole violation warrant, a Dunklin County warrant for nonsupport and a Poplar Bluff failure to appear warrant for trespassing.

In addition to armed criminal action and felony resisting arrest, Skinner arrested Slavings on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, felony probation violation, hindering prosecution, failure to drive on the right side of the road, failure to stop at stop sign, no operator's license, no proof of insurance, failure to yield, careless and imprudent driving, speeding, possession of drug paraphernalia and having a non-working license plate light.

Skinner seized a loaded rifle and an unloaded shotgun from Slavings' truck. Harris said Slavings had .22-caliber rounds in his pocket.

Loberg said he and Slavings were going out "to spotlight rabbits" when Skinner attempted to stop them. Loberg was issued a summons for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle.

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