Suspect Leads Tuscaloosa Police on Long Low-Speed Chase, Rams Cruiser
A Shelby County man in a stolen truck led Tuscaloosa Police on a nearly 2-hour pursuit that ended in downtown Birmingham early Sunday morning.
Police sources said Ricky Wayne Russell, 40, was spotted by a witness stealing a box truck from a business on James I Harrison Jr. Parkway at 9:45 a.m. A Tuscaloosa Police officer located the truck almost immediately and attempted a traffic stop in the Five Points area of University Boulevard East.
Russell reportedly refused to stop, leading the officer down Alabama Highway 216 East towards Brookwood. While driving on the wrong side of the road near Lock 17 Road, he struck a TPD patrol vehicle twice, causing major damage to the vehicle. The officer was not injured.
The pursuit continued onto Interstate 20/59 in Bessemer. Russell drove through the Ensley area roughly 40 minutes into the pursuit, at which point a Jefferson County deputy deployed spike strips that disabled one of the stolen truck's back tires.
The blown tire's rim eventually fell off, and Russell's speed dropped to around 35 miles per hour. 20 minutes later, the other back wheel fell off.
Russell eventually slowed to 10 miles an hour and pulled off Exit 124A, coming to a complete stop at Fifth Avenue North and 12th Street North in Birmingham at 11:31 a.m.
The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Alabama State Troopers, Brookwood and Hueytown police departments all assisted in what became an hour and 45-minute pursuit. Speeds during the chase never exceeded 60 miles an hour.
Russell was taken into custody and was charged with first-degree theft, reckless endangerment and attempting to elude and was also issued multiple traffic citations.