Tahlequah Daily Press

March 28, 2014

Garvin County miscreant leads troopers on local chase

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers on Wednesday evening were able to stop a man who led three agencies on a high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County.

Joshua Matthew Torres, 24, is jailed for possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, and feloniously running a roadblock.

Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Lewandowski’s arrest affidavit details the fast-paced pursuit that began in the Gideon area. According to Lewandowski, deputies were called by a man who was following a stolen truck north of Tahlequah. The man knew Torres did not have permission to be in the truck, but at some point lost sight of the vehicle.

Deputies began looking for the truck and spotted Torres driving north on 710 Road. Lewandowski said he pulled his patrol truck into the middle of the road, and Torres slowed as he approached, but then drove around the deputy.

Lewandowski began pursuing Torres, who blazed on to State Highway 82 and then toward Tahlequah. According to deputies, Torres drove recklessly on his way toward Tahlequah, passing vehicles at an average speed of 90 mph.

Tahlequah police and OHP troopers soon joined the pursuit, which continued around the entire State Highway 51 bypass.

“Torres ran all the red lights and violated numerous traffic laws,” Lewandowski said.

Troopers took over the pursuit as Torres turned back onto S.H. 82 and drove north. Tahlequah police discontinued their part in the pursuit, and Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault later called deputies off of the chase.

Torres allegedly took the truck he was driving off road and drove toward Moodys. Troopers eventually stopped Torres in a rural area in Mayes County.

Though Torres has no previous criminal history in Cherokee County, court records show he has warrants out of Garvin County, where he’s faced a lengthy list of crimes in the past five years.

Court records show Torres, of Pauls Valley, has previously been charged with 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.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com