Arrest made after suspect flees Union Parish deputy

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A Bernice man who fled from a Union Parish sheriff’s deputy was later arrested on warrants charging him with felony counts of aggravated flight from an officer and possession of methamphetamine.

William George Staggs Jr., 39, of 951 S. Louisiana Ave., Bernice, was spotted about 1 a.m. Dec. 27 at a dumpster site at the intersection of Pine Grove Church Road and Bull Creek Road by a deputy who noticed the 1992 Ford pickup did not have a license plate.

When the deputy attempted to stop the driver, he accelerated at which time the deputy activated his siren but the suspect did not stop. The deputy chased the suspect down several roads in the immediate area, Sheriff Dusty Gates said. The vehicle reached speeds of 70 mph in 35 mph zones.

At one point during the chase, Gates said the deputy saw the driver throw a backpack out the driver’s window. Also, the vehicle did not stop at a number of stop signs.

Eventually the driver stopped the vehicle on Pine Grove Church Road and fled on foot into a wooded area where deputies lost sight of him.

A search of the car revealed suspected loose meth on the driver’s seat, the sheriff said. Deputies found the backpack and it contained Stagg’s identification card and a cell phone that when activated showed a picture of his juvenile son. His parents also stated that the truck was owned by Staggs but he had never property registered it in his name.

Staggs also was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under suspension and not having the proper equipment on the vehicle.

Third District Court Judge Bruce Hampton set total bail at $57,000.