Jacksonville Daily Progress
A Wednesday afternoon traffic stop in Lincoln Park resulted in a foot chase – at least the fifth in recent memory – that ultimately re-sulted in Jacksonville police officers apprehending two men and recovering approximately 42 grams of marijuana.
Jacksonville Police Det. Sgt. Daniel Franklin said the incident began about 1 p.m. Wednesday, when Officer Darrell Hollis stopped a blue Ford four-door vehicle on a traffic violation in the 600 block of Davis.
The officer activated his police lights and the vehicle pulled over in a private driveway, reports show.
"But the driver and the passenger both exited the vehicle and immediately ran away on foot," Franklin explain-ed. "Officer Hollis pursued them for a short time, then returned to his vehicle and called in the directions and locations they had fled."
A few minutes later, more officers were dispatched to the scene. They set up a perimeter where the men were last seen bolting – around Skyline in the Lincoln Park area.
While in the process of searching, Officer Steven Markasky no-ticed movement in a wooded area and gave chase. It turned out to be the vehicle's driver, who Officer Markasky immediately took into custody.
Around the same time, the officer noticed someone who turned out to be the vehicle's passenger also running around through the treeline.
Officer Markasky notified a fellow officer, Nathan Winship, who pursued the passenger, ultimately discovering him hiding in the heavily wooded Lincoln Park area, Franklin said.
"After both suspects were taken into custody, an officer searching for the keys to the car found several small pages of marijuana in the front packet of the driver's shorts," Franklin said. "After the driver was taken to jail, several more bags of marijuana were located in the crotch area of his shorts – where he apparently had stuffed them."
The marijuana had been separated and packaged in separate baggies, probably for distribution, police said.
In all, it probably took police a little under an hour to apprehend the two men, reports show.
The driver of the Ford, Damian Labrice Paris, 20, of Jacksonville, was taken into custody on suspicion of evading arrest, a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana in a drug free zone, also a Class A.
Additionally, Paris had an open warrant for failure to appear out of Cherokee County. Paris was listed in custody in Cherokee County Thursday in lieu of $20,000 bond — $5,000 for the failure to appear warrant, $7,500 for possession of marijuana, and $7,500 for the fleeing charge, Cherokee County jail records show.
The passenger, Keystone Monquan Johnson, 18, of Jacksonville, was taken into custody on suspicion of evading arrest, also a Class A misdemeanor.
Johnson, as of Thursday, had made $7,500 bail on the fleeing charge and was released from custody, Cherokee County jail records how.
Police have been engaged in a series of foot chases over the past few months – dating back to at least December.
The most recent was Feb. 15, when a Jacksonville Police officer was forced to wrangle with a 36-year-old suspect, a struggle that landed both of them into a creek bed near the 1400 block of East Rusk.