Columbia man arrested after car chase with police

Friday, April 11, 2008 | 5:14 p.m. CDT; updated 3:47 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man who has a history of fleeing the police was arrested Thursday night after leading officers on a 14-minute car chase through downtown streets, Columbia police said.

According to a press release from the Columbia Police Department, at 11:50 p.m., police officers attempted to pull over Elfonta Arnaz Stevens, 32, outside the Columbia Square Townhomes subdivision at Claudell and Worley streets for not having a license plate on his car.

Officers also recognized that Stevens was trespassing in the subdivision, since he had been given a trespassing warning previously from the subdivision’s management.

Stevens, however, refused to pull over.

Officers pursued Stevens in his black 1992 Chevrolet Camaro throughout the area bounded by Providence, Business Loop 70, Walnut and Garth. Lt. Dianne Bernhard said he did not go more than 10 or 15 miles over the speed limit during the chase. She also said officers saw Stevens reach into his passenger seat while driving, and that officers suspected he was attempting to conceal marijuana.

As many as eight to 10 officers laid spikes at Garth and Walnut, but Stevens finally came to a stop just short of the spikes.

Stevens then refused to get out of his vehicle and had to be forcibly removed.

He was arrested and taken to University Hospital after he complained of shoulder pain after being removed from the car and because of suspicion that he was under the influence.

After refusing to submit to blood tests, a warrant was issued, but test results are not yet known.

As previously reported in the Missourian, Stevens was arrested on April 1 for driving under revocation, felony resisting arrest and traffic charges, a Columbia Police Department press release said. During that incident, after a 20-minute chase, spikes successfully shredded three of the tires of Stevens’ black two-door vehicle.

Stevens is currently being held for driving violations, driving under the influence, misdemeanor possession of 35 grams of marijuana, felony driving with a revoked license, felony resisting arrest and several traffic charges.

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