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August 9, 2013

Fugitive on motorcycle evades county authorities for five hours, then escapes

'He outfoxed them and he got away.'

CHEROKEE COUNTY —  A 36-year-old man who Cherokee County authorities tried to serve with a warrant Friday morning mounted a motorcycle, struck an approaching sheriff's deputy as he biked away, and led authorities on a five-hour chase before ultimately escaping, reports show.

A local man monitoring the chase on the police scanner told a Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter it was very lively.

“He outfoxed them and he got away,” the man said. “Those state troopers they brought up were from Anderson County. … At one point we thought they had him cornered, but he went ahead and gave them another run for their money.”

The incident began about 10:45 a.m. when authorities attempted to serve a “Felony Pardon and Parole” warrant on the the suspect, Richard Ryan Cook, at his residence on the south end of FM 747, according to a news release from Cherokee County Sheriff's Lt. Gina Battley.

As authorities approached Cook's home on foot, the suspect apparently noticed and is alleged to have fled the scene on the motorcycle. It was at this point the deputy was struck. The deputy's name was not listed in the report. Lt. Battley indicated the public servant was in “good condition” Friday.

This escape led to the chase, which involved several Cherokee County Sheriffs’ Office units, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Precinct One Constable Lynn Kelley, Precinct Three Constable Eddie Lee and a Texas DPS Helicopter.

Cherokee County Precinct One Justice of the Peace Brenda Dominy subsequently issued an arrest warrant for cook on suspicion of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant using a deadly weapon, which is a first degree felony. The deadly weapon during the attack was the motorcycle, reports show.

Richard Ryan Cook is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing 150 pounds. His motorcycle — license plate number unknown — is described as a black and purple, "café style" sport bike.

He is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities urge residents to simply call law enforcement and not approach him if he is spotted. The number for the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department is (903) 683-2271.

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