A local man was arrested after a pursuit through Leitchfield that led to a Kentucky State Police (KSP) cruiser’s overturning into a ditch on Thursday morning, April 21.
At approximately 9:50 a.m. on Thursday morning, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) Court Security Deputy Jim Lane attempted to serve a warrant for failure to pay fines (a misdemeanor) out of Henderson County on 28-year-old Wallace Mercer, of Leitchfield, according to Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins.
When Lane grabbed Mercer’s arm, Mercer pulled away, pushed Lane, and fled from the Grayson County Judicial Center on foot, Chaffins said in a news release.
Another GCSO Court Security Deputy, Danny Payne, pursued Mercer down the courthouse steps but lost his footing, fell, and injured his right shoulder, according to Chaffins.
Lane notified other law enforcement officers that Mercer had escaped from his custody.
Mercer was then seen headed west on foot toward the Grayson County Humane Society, located at 213 East Lake Dr. in Leitchfield.
Leitchfield Police Department (LPD), KSP, GCSO, and Grayson County Detention Center personnel converged on the scene within a matter of minutes, thus limiting the suspect’s movements, Chaffins said.
During the pursuit, responding KSP Trooper Scott Rafferty turned his cruiser into East Lake Drive from William Thomason Byway in an attempt to locate Mercer at the Grayson County Humane Society.
When Rafferty made the turn into East Lake Drive, the cruiser’s driver’s side front tire moved too far over into the ditch, which caused the cruiser to overturn onto its top, the release states.
Rafferty was able to exit the overturned vehicle on his own through the passenger side door.
Minutes later, KSP Trooper Brandon Brooks chased Mercer into a wooded area in a creek next to the Humane Society.
LPD Officer Greg Whobrey spotted Mercer and quickly placed him under arrest without further incident, according to Chaffins.
“Through a joint effort from the Leitchfield Police Department, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, and Kentucky State Police, the subject was apprehended,” Chaffins said.
Mercer was charged with Assault, 2nd Degree; Fleeing or Evading Police, 1st Degree (On Foot); Wanton Endangerment, 1st Degree (Police Officer); Escape, 3rd Degree; Resisting Arrest; and other charges are pending as a result of other officers’ suffering minor injuries during the pursuit, according to Chaffins.
Mercer is currently being held on a $1,000.00 cash bond at the Grayson County Detention Center.
Both Rafferty and Payne were treated at and released from Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.
This investigation is ongoing by GCSO Sergeant Bryan Hammons.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.