Chris Jones: Green Publishing, Inc.
If you live near SW Parramore Ave., between SW Pinckney St. and Sinclair Ave., in Madison, you may have heard a ruckus outside on Monday, July 24, around 11 p.m. Several units from the Madison Police Department (MPD) were involved in a pursuit with a 1999 Honda Civic, driven by 28-year-old Rysharde Thompson, of Madison. According to MPD spokesperson Lieutenant Heather Whitfield, MPD Sergeant Tony Mashburn observed Thompson's vehicle run through a stop sign at the intersection of SW Smith St. and SW Parramore Ave. He was traveling east on Smith St. when he ran the stop sign and turned south onto Parramore Ave., then turned east onto Columbia St. Sgt. Mashburn engaged his emergency lights, signaling for Thompson to stop. Thompson pulled into a vacant lot behind Knight's Barbershop. As Sgt. Mashburn pulled his cruiser in behind the Civic, Thompson drove through the lot and back onto Parramore Ave., this time headed north.
Thomspon led police on a late-night tour of the neighborhood, turning east onto SW Bunker St. and south on SW Orange Ave., where he struck a mailbox at 409 SW Orange Ave. He then turned west on Sinclair Ave., and north again on Parramore Ave. Backup units traveling south on Parramore Ave., narrowly missed a collision with the recklessly driven vehicle as it continued north until it turned west on Pinckney St. Sgt. Mashburn followed behind Thompson as other units, including MPD Officer Lucas Smith, repositioned in an attempt to block Thompson. Thompson turned south on SW First Ave., headed directly towards Officer Smith, who was accompanied by a ride-along passenger, 19-year-old Michael Briggs, of the MPD's Explorer program. Thompson continued south and collided, head-on, with Officer Smith's vehicle, one of the department's brand new 2017 Ford Taurus patrol cruisers.
Thompson ignored commands to exit the vehicle, possibly disoriented from the deployed airbag. He was removed from the vehicle and placed in handcuffs. He told officers that he had consumed four to five beers. The impact left Thomspon with minor injuries, for which he was transported to Madison County Memorial Hospital. Thompson was eventually cleared from the hospital and transported to the Madison County Jail. A search of Thompson's vehicle found an empty beer bottle and unidentified pills. Both vehicles were totaled in the crash. Thompson was charged with fleeing or eluding a police officer, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, driving under the influence, reckless driving resulting in property damage, leaving the scene of crash, possession of dangerous drugs, driving with a suspended license, tampering with evidence, and possession of drugs within 1,000 feet of a place of worship. Thompson's driver's license was suspended in 2010 and revoked in 2012.