Three Arrested After Police Chase Through Casper
Three people were arrested Saturday after leading police on an early-morning car chase and officers ended up finding methamphetamine, syringes and a handgun inside the car.
Marlaina Renee May, 35, was booked into jail on recommended charges of meth possession, driving with a suspended license, attempting to elude police, interference, littering and a probation revocation.
Austin Brady Martin, 23, and 47-year-old James Barton Wall were each booked on a recommended charge of meth possession. All three will likely make their initial appearances in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Monday.
Charging papers say shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, a Casper police officer saw a silver and spray-painted blue Honda pull out of the Mocha Moose Parking lot at 15th and CY Avenue. The Honda didn't use a turn signal, and it made a wide turn into the far lane of westbound CY Avenue.
The officer tried to catch up to the Honda, which then turned into the Albertsons parking lot at CY Avenue and Poplar. As the Honda crossed the parking lot, the officer saw the driver throw a jeweler's bag of methamphetamine out of the vehicle.
The officer turned on his overhead lights and tried to stop the car, but the Honda continued to drive away through an alley. The Honda then went east on 14th Street to Poplar, and up to I-25.
Once southbound on I-25, the Honda reached speeds of 80 mph before exiting at Wyoming Boulevard. As the Honda exited the interstate, pursuing officers saw the driver throw a second item out of the vehicle.
The Honda continued northbound onto Blackmore, then westbound onto Lathrop and ended up heading into a trailer park at 229 Lathrop. Officers were able to keep pace with the Honda until it turned onto a dirt service road and drove at a high rate of speed, despite the bumpy condition of the road. Officers followed but slowed significantly in order to avoid damaging their patrol cars.
The Honda drove into the C'mon Inn parking lot and drove to the northeastern corner of the motel. When officers arrived at where the Honda had stopped, the driver-side door of the Honda was wide open, and the driver was nowhere to be found. Martin and Wall were still with the Honda, and they were taken into custody.
Martin was found to have been in possession of a syringe and small digital scale, which tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. A cotton ball containing meth was found in Wall's pocket.
Several additional hypodermic needles were found under the rear seat cushion where Wall had been sitting. One of those syringes contained liquid meth.
A Sig Sauer .22-caliber handgun with a loaded magazine was found in Martin's backpack, which also contained Martin's wallet.
A backpack in the trunk of the Honda contained a walled belonging to Marlaina May, paperwork belonging to Martin and a bag of clean syringes. Also in the backpack was one syringe that contained liquid meth.
Wall told police that the driver was a woman he didn't know, with a first name that may have been Marlaina. Wall claimed he had been hitch-hiking and the other two picked him up.
When asked why the driver didn't stop the vehicle for police, Wall said the driver was "crazy" and she had said, "No way am I stopping." Wall also said that at one point during the pursuit, Martin cocked the handgun while looking back toward pursuing officers.
Martin told police he didn't know the woman who had been driving the Honda. Police say the "lie was easily dispelled as Martin and May shared a backpack containing both of their identifying paperwork in the trunk of the car."
An officer found a recent book-in photo for May and confirmed that she was the person he had seen driving the Honda during the chase. May was on probation for DUI, as well as meth and marijuana possession.
Believing that May was clearly in violation of her probation, the officer called May's probation officer who reported that May had absconded from her probation.
That night, at about 8:30 p.m., police responded to the Natrona County Detention Center after a jail officer reported that May had shown up at the jail to post Martin's bond.
May tried to conceal her identity, but was ultimately positively identified by detention officers. She was arrested and booked into jail.