2 arrested after separate police chases

generic Van Buren County Sheriff's Office

PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD) —  Van Buren County sheriff’s deputies were led on two separate high-speed chases Sunday, after which both suspects were arrested.

The first chase started around 11:15 a.m. in the 22000 block of 28th Avenue in Almena Township, west of Kalamazoo, according to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy performing stationary radar tried to pull over a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck for vision obstruction, but the driver didn’t stop. Instead, he took off headed east on 28th Avenue into Kalamazoo County. Going faster than 90 mph, he ignored stop signs at H Avenue.

When the suspect driver turned onto 5th Street, the Van Buren County deputy lost sight of the vehicle, but Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies soon found him headed west on KL Avenue toward 22nd Street.

Deputies finally stopped the vehicle at the intersection of 22nd Street and M-43. At that point, the driver gave up and was arrested.

Jason Smith, 24, of Kalamazoo now faces charges of fleeing and eluding and driving with a suspended license.

Jason Smith. (March 30, 2014)
(Jason Smith. Undated courtesy photo.)

Smith already had a felony warrant out of Van Buren County for failure to appear on an original charge of possession of methamphetamine and another warrant out of the City of Paw Paw of marijuana possession.

Then, around 2:25 p.m., a deputy chased another man on a motorcycle. The deputy initially tried to pull that motorcyclist over for speeding in the area of 64th Avenue and 32nd Street in Antwerp Township, southeast of Paw Paw, the sheriff’s department says.

But the driver instead “fled down long stretches of roadways at a very high rate of speed attempting to lose the Deputy.”

He eventually stopped because his motorcycle was not handling the speed well and was running out of gas.

The 21-year-old Paw Paw man, who has not yet been identified by authorities, was jailed on charges of fleeing and eluding.

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