Atmore man rams APD unit, pursued
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
An Atmore man remained in the Escambia County Detention Center this week, held under $250,000 bond on an attempted murder charge, after leading Atmore police, Baldwin County deputies and Alabama state troopers on a high-speed chase during which he rammed an unmarked Atmore Police Department vehicle.
According to a press release issued August 16, the day of the incident, by Sgt. Darrell McMann, 41-year-old James Earl Ivy is charged with one count each of attempted murder and felony fleeing and eluding a police officer.
McMann reported that narcotics investigators had earlier that day furnished patrol units with a description of a grey Dodge Journey that bore a dealer tag. The car had reportedly been seen several times recently in the area of Carver Avenue, and the driver had been seen trying to buy drugs from street dealers.
Patrol officers spotted the car around 10 a.m. in a Carver Avenue parking lot, parked next to another vehicle. That vehicle was stopped by police, and the driver gave consent to search the vehicle. No contraband was found.
When another officer tried to stop Ivy, the Atmore man “accelerated at a high rate of speed on Highway 31,” where he began “driving recklessly and ran a vehicle off the road” near Atmore Country Club. The officer decided not to pursue due to “Ivy’s reckless driving and disregard for the safety of other drivers.”
Ivy’s vehicle was spotted by narcotics investigators a short time later at the junction of Katelyn Lane and U.S. 31. When the drug agent began to turn onto Katelyn Lane, Ivy reportedly “turned his steering wheel toward the investigators vehicle and accelerated at a high rate of speed and struck the front passenger side of the unmarked car.”
Ivy turned south on Highway 31 with the narcotics investigators in pursuit, continuing into Baldwin County, where he turned unto Highway 47. A front-seat passenger in Ivy’s vehicle jumped from it while it was moving at roughly 50 mph, police said. The Atmore man reportedly ran another vehicle off the road as he sped through a school zone before turning around and driving back in the direction from which he had just come. Perdido School officials reportedly implemented lockdown protocols for a short period during the incident.
By that time, Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Alabama State Troopers joined the pursuit, with BCSO units using stop strips to bring the pursuit to a conclusion on Highway 47.
Initial reports from several sources were that the chase continued onto Interstate 65 and ended near the southbound General W.K. Wilson Jr. bridge, but police reports do not indicate that the pursuit carried that far.
Ivy, who also has a warrant for bail jumping from Tennessee, was taken into custody without further incident. McMann said local authorities don’t plan to extradite him back to Tennessee.
No criminal charges were filed against the passenger who bailed out of the car. That person was taken by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening.