A dump truck with no tags tried to get away from a traffic stop until hitting a dead end where the driver was arrested at gunpoint.
John Wilbur Whitehead, 60, of Lawton, was arrested Monday following the pursuit by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Baca.
The trooper stated he tried to stop the dump truck as it traveled southbound on Southwest 67th Street near Lee Boulevard due to it having a flat tire. He attempted the stop and noticed there was no license plate and a brake light wasn’t working, the probable cause affidavit states. The vehicle pulled over and stopped.
Baca asked the driver, Whitehead, for his driver’s information; he responded he didn’t have his license with him but offered his information. While the trooper was in his unit running the driver’s information, Whitehead drove on southbound, the affidavit states. After hitting his emergency siren, Baca stated, Whitehead stuck his arm out the window and made a waving motion before turning onto Bishop Road.
After using the public address system to order Whitehead to stop, the dump truck driver again stuck his arm out the window and waved the trooper on. When Baca told Whitehead to pull over, the response was “No,” according to the affidavit. The dump truck continued eastbound and failed to stop at the sign at Southwest 52nd and, again at Southwest 38th Street before turning north onto Wedgewood Road where he was stopped by a dead end.
Baca got out of his unit, drew his service weapon and demanded Whitehead get out and get down on the ground. He was then placed under arrest.
During the inventory of the dump truck, Baca stated he found a single-shot 12-gauge shotgun with the barrel removed, as well as a 12-gauge shell in the floorboard, the affidavit states.
Whitehead made his initial appearance Wednesday in Comanche County District Court where he received felony charges of endangering others while eluding/attempting to elude law enforcement and possession of a firearm after former felony convictions, as well as misdemeanor counts of driving with an invalid license, failure to wear a seatbelt, operating a vehicle with no license plate, failure to properly secure a load, driving with no brake lights and driving a vehicle with defective equipment, records indicate.
Whitehead has prior felony convictions from March 2000 in Lincoln County for possession of a firearm while on supervised probation; and from September 2015 in Comanche County for knowingly receiving/concealing and/or withholding stolen property, records indicate.
Held on $15,000 bond, Whitehead head returns to court at 3 p.m. July 10 for his preliminary hearing conference.