A man was arrested after a lengthy pursuit that culminated in his attempt to hide in a mattress.
On July 18, Tahlequah Police Sgt. Bryan Qualls overheard dispatchers notify Officer Lane Cobb about a call on Redbud Lane. The caller said John Drake was trying to gain entry in the house, banging on the windows and doors. Cobb and Officer Brian Jordan arrived at the house and radioed that Drake had left the area in a vehicle.
“At the time officers state the vehicle was driving back toward Redbud Lane, I was arriving on scene,” Qualls said in the report. “I saw a blue Hyundai matching the suspect vehicle’s description drive out of a yard and turn westbound on Redbud Lane in front of my patrol car.”
After the vehicle ran a stop sign, Qualls activated his lights and sirens, and a pursuit ensued.
“The vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed and turned off its lights. The vehicle continued west on Dogwood crossing South Maple Avenue, failing to stop for a stop sign. The vehicle continued West on Dogwood to South East Avenue. The vehicle then made a wide left-hand turn, driving through a yard at 1101 S. East Ave. and back on South East Avenue,” Qualls said.
During the pursuit, Drake ran several stop signs and tried to cause Qualls to crash into his vehicle. Drake made it to East Downing Street and onto U.S. Highway 62, where the Hyundai reached speeds over 100 mph.
“The driver would periodically turn the headlights on and then back off again. For the majority of this incident, the driver had the headlights turned off,” Qualls said. "The vehicle continued eastbound on U.S. 62. As the vehicle passed the [State] Highway 10 and Highway 62 intersection, the speeds were 104 mph. The driver was swerving across both lanes of the eastbound lanes of travel.”
After Drake passed Cary Lane, he abruptly braked and swerved, when his vehicle left the roadway and hit a group of small trees.
Drake exited the vehicle and ran into an abandoned house. Officers surrounded the house and shouted out commands for Drake to come out.
“Officers entered the residence with [K-9 Officer] Ivo in the lead. Officers began searching the residence and located a mattress in what was the loft area of the residence,” Qualls said. “Officers noticed the mattress was moving. Upon further investigation, officers could see John Drake hiding underneath the mattress. I advised John to come out but he refused.”
Qualls took Ivo back to his patrol vehicle and returned to the house when officers had Drake in custody.
Drake was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center and booked for felony eluding, driving under revocation, and resisting arrest.