Tahlequah Daily Press

April 17, 2014

Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

Joshua Matthew Torres, 24, is charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, endangering others while eluding or attempting to elude a police officer, and running a road block.

Torres was given a $20,000 bond and jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center. He is due in district court April 22 at 1 p.m. for his initial appearance.

Torres was ultimately arrested by Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers in a rural Mayes County area.

Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Lewandowski had responded to the Gideon area when a man reported Torres driving a stolen truck. Deputies eventually spotted Torres and the truck, but Torres avoided a road block and sped off to State Highway 82.

Deputies said Torres blazed down the highway, passing vehicles while driving around 90 mph as he headed into Tahlequah’s city limits. Tahlequah police and the OHP soon joined in the pursuit, which continued around the entire State Highway 51 bypass.

Lewandowski said Torres ran all stop lights he came to as he eventually headed back toward the northern part of Cherokee County. Deputies and Tahlequah officers were soon called off of the chase, but troopers continued as Torres drove through Moodys and was eventually stopped.

Torres was being sought by Garvin County authorities when he was captured.

He’s faced previous charges of first-degree burglary, several counts of domestic assault and battery, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, several counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, several counts of assault and battery on a police officer, five counts of placing bodily fluids on a government employee, resisting officers, outraging public decency, public intoxication, malicious injury to property, several counts of obstructing officers, and several counts of threatening to perform an act of violence.

Some court documents indicate Torres is from Pauls Valley, while the latest filings list his address out of Oklahoma City.