Chase ends when suspect runs out of gas

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A man fleeing from police was arrested Tuesday after he ran out of gas about one mile north of Maplesville High School.

Dustin Wade Martin, 26, allegedly stole a vehicle in Jemison and then, when police identified the vehicle minutes later, led them on a 40-minute, high-speed chase.

Martin is a suspect in at least two other vehicle thefts and one attempted break-in since Monday afternoon, Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer said.

Martin asked for a ride from a stranger Tuesday at a fuel station off Interstate Exit 219 in Jemison. While believing he was taking Martin home, the man stopped to re-fuel at the station at the intersection of Highway 31 and County Road 44 in Jemison.

While the man was inside pre-paying for gasoline, Martin allegedly stole his vehicle, a 2002 Acura.

“While he’s in the store, the guy gets out and goes around to the driver’s side and takes off in the car,” Fulmer said.

About 15 minutes later, JPD officer Riley Barnett spotted a vehicle matching the description of the stolen one and attempted to make a traffic stop. Martin fled, leading officers from several different county police agencies on a chase that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph but more often than not transpired on rural dirt roads.

The chase ended about 9:45 a.m. on Highway 139, just north of Maplesville High School. Martin was headed toward the school.

Martin has been charged by Jemison with felony theft of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment and various traffic violations. He will face additional charges from Maplesville and could eventually face charges related to other vehicle thefts.

“You always hope for the best end result, which is what we got because no one was hurt and no property was damaged,” Fulmer said.