Allen man charged after Coal County pursuit

Photo courtesy of Pontotoc County Sheriff’s OfficeAn SUV lies abandoned in a Pontotoc County pasture after it was used in a pursuit involving Coal County sheriff’s deputies.

An Allen man was charged recently after authorities said he led deputies on a pursuit.

Claude Dennie Hill, 46, was charged in Coal County District Court with eluding a police officer and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The pursuit occurred Dec. 9. Coal County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Golden said at 9:30 p.m., he witnessed the driver of a blue Ford SUV run a stop sign at the intersection of Main and Broadway streets in Centrahoma.

Golden attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the driver of the SUV sped away.

Golden and Deputy Cliff Ridgway pursued the vehicle north of Centrahoma down several county roads.

“(I) hit a wash out in the road and my patrol vehicle became inoperable,” Golden said in a report. “Deputy Ridgway stopped at the intersection of (County Roads 1600 and 3725) to pick up a female who had exited the vehicle we were pursuing.”

Ridgway canceled the pursuit and the woman, Rebecca Hilfer, 35, was taken to the sheriff’s office and questioned.

Hilfer, the owner of the SUV, told deputies the man driving the vehicle went by the name “CD” and his first name was Claude. She said she told the man multiple times to stop the vehicle and let her out.

“Hilfer stated that the defendant did not have permission to drive her vehicle once he decided to run from the police,” Golden said.

Authorities put out a general location where they thought the vehicle might be located.

In the early-morning hours of Dec. 10, the pursuit vehicle was located in Pontotoc County by Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Walker. 

“After arriving in the general area, I was able to follow a path left by a vehicle leaving the roadway into a pasture,” Walker said in a report. “I located a blue Ford Escape approximately 450 yards from the roadway in a pasture.”

Through their investigation, deputies believe the driver was Hill. 

According to court records, Hill was charged Dec. 15 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. As of press time Thursday, he had not been arrested.

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