Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

Cherokee County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Baker and Deputy Kaitlin Rafalko assessed the damage of a mangled truck after a pursuit.

An area man escaped injury after crashing his vehicle during a pursuit with sheriff's deputies.

On Friday afternoon, July 31, Cherokee County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Baker was conducting business at Love's Country Store when an employee notified him about a man who had just left.

"She asked if I was an officer and said the guy who just left was involved in forgery activities here, and Tahlequah police were on their way," said Baker. "She showed me a picture of the truck, and I took off and found it. I went to pull him over for an investigative stop and he took off from me."

Baker said James Hallford sped away on South Muskogee Avenue and turned onto Choctaw Street.

"He was putting lives in danger, and I was trying to get him to stop. He turned onto Choctaw at a high rate of speed and turned onto Keetoowah with him driving over 80 mph," said Baker.

Hallford approached Bertha Parker Bypass, where he failed to brake for traffic and was T-boned by another driver.

"He spun out and he rolled his truck. Then Deputy Kaitlin Rafalko and I took him into custody," said Baker.

Hallford was arrested in Tulsa a day earlier on charges of eluding, speeding, driving under suspension, reckless driving, and possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony.

According to reports, Hallford's probation was revoked earlier Friday and a federal warrant was issued by the U.S. Marshal Service.

Hallford refused medical treatment and was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center. The driver of the other vehicle refused medical treatment at the scene.

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