From the report of Trooper Cort Williams, lightly edited for clarity and brevity:
“On April 3, 2019, at approximately 9:05 a.m., I was running stationary radar on I-40 West near the 3 mile marker when I saw a light-colored passenger car approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. The radar tone was loud and steady. The vehicle was passing the other traffic quickly. My radar indicated a speed of 117mph. I pulled out and attempted to initiate a stop on the vehicle. I activated my lights and attempted to catch up with the vehicle, however, the vehicle continued west at a high rate of speed. I noticed there was light traffic toward the west and the suspect vehicle did not appear to be slowing down, so I activated my emergency siren with my lights.
I continued west, attempting to close the distance behind the suspect vehicle and my vehicle. As the vehicle approached Exit 1, Dora Road, it passed a semi-truck using the right shoulder of the interstate, and merged back onto I-40. I had to maneuver through light traffic before I could continue after the vehicle.
Once through the traffic, I accelerated and began to catch up with the suspect vehicle as it entered Oklahoma. As we continued into Oklahoma, the traffic was light and I reached a maximum speed of 143 mph [actually, 144 MPH -ed.]. I caught up with the vehicle near mile marker 329 and the suspect vehicle began to slow down. The suspect vehicle pulled over near the 328.5 mile marker near the weigh station.
I performed a felony stop on the driver, later identified as James B. Cooper. After he exited the vehicle, I placed the driver under arrest. As I was placing him under arrest he stated he was trying to find a hospital because he thought he was having a possible heart attack. I had dispatch contact EMS. Once EMS arrived, they decided to transport him to Baptist Health in Fort Smith. Oklahoma Highway Patrol towed the vehicle. B & W Truck took possession of the vehicle. I followed EMS to Baptist Health in Fort Smith.
Once at the ER, Mr. Cooper stated he was headed to the Right Way Clinic in Roland, OK. He advised he began to have a medical issue so he turned around and headed back toward Arkansas to look for a hospital. He stated he continued into Arkansas for about four or five miles and turned back around and began to head back to the clinic because he could not find a hospital. He could not advise why he did not stop and use his cell phone to call for help. Mr. Cooper admitted to taking a variety of prescription medications that could possibly affect his ability to drive. I read Mr. Cooper his Arkansas Statement of Rights and he agreed to provide a urine sample. I took possession of the urine sample. I was advised by the ER doctor that Mr. Cooper was going to be admitted. I contacted Baptist Health Security and placed a hold on Mr. Cooper. I advised him that if he left the hospital prior to being transported to the jail he could be charged with escape as well as his other charges.”
That is exactly what happened.
“On April 4, 2019 at approximately 6:45am, I was contacted by dispatch and advised that Mr. Cooper had left the hospital without being picked by police. On April 5, I spoke with Shane Griffin, a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office, and got warrants issued for the charged listed above. Deputy Prosecutor Griffin will be seeking a warrant for Escape 3rd Degree 5-54-112 as well.”
Cooper was charged with fleeing and with escape, as a habitual offender. He was sentenced on a negotiated guilty plea to six years of probation and the forfeiture of his $3,500 bond.
@What You Haven’t Seen