A Washington County man is facing charges after authorities say he led a deputy on a pursuit on Wednesday.
Mark Matthews, 32, of Potosi, has been charged with felony unlawful possession of a firearm, felony driving while revoked/suspended, and felony resisting arrest. Matthews is being held at the Washington County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
A bond reduction hearing has been scheduled before Associate Circuit Judge Troy Hyde on July 30.
According to a probable cause statement from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, on Wednesday a deputy was patrolling in the area of Highway 21 and Sheppard Road when he observed a silver Jeep stop on the shoulder of the road and drop off one male and one female passenger.
The deputy stated that he began to follow the vehicle southbound on Highway 21 at that time. The driver then pulled into an empty parking lot, looked back at the deputy, and then drove back onto Highway 21 traveling south in a careless manner.
According to the report, the deputy then activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle continued along the highway and then turned onto Sheppard Road where it began to accelerate on the gravel road.
The report states that the driver of the Jeep turned into a driveway and then drove into the woods where it struck a tree. Both the driver of the Jeep and the passenger fled into the wooded area. While checking the vehicle, the deputy discovered a Heritage Ruff Rider .22 caliber revolver in the driver side door. In addition, .22 caliber bullets were found in the cup holder of the Jeep.
While searching the area for the male and female occupants of the Jeep, a deputy posted along Highway 21 spotted a female walking along the highway. The deputy made contact with the female who admitted to being the passenger of the Jeep and who both verbally and in writing stated that Matthews had been driving the Jeep at the time of the attempted traffic stop. The female has not been charged in the incident.
According to court records, Matthews has been previously charged four times with driving while revoked/suspended (twice in 2014 and once each in 2015 and 2018). In addition, Matthews has two prior convictions for burglary in 2005 and 2009, a prior conviction for tampering with a motor vehicle in 2009, and a prior conviction for unlawful use of a weapon in 2012.
Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616.