ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) - A wild police chase in a RV; a young man with documented mental issues and a father desperate for help.
These were all parts of a volatile situation last weekend in Elberta.
RV POLICE CHASE
A 911 call from a desperate father started a whirlwind of events in Elberta last weekend. According to police, 30-year-old son Joshua Sutton was threatening his family, but before they could arrive Sutton took off in the family RV.
Elberta Police Chief, Stanley DeVane, said Sutton wouldn’t stop for officers. He told us, “Officers spotted him at 98 and 95 and attempted to stop him. He turned and went east on US highway 98 and approached speeds of about 90 miles per hour.”
SWERVING AND THREATENING
Chief DeVane says as Sutton went down Highway 98 he was swerving the RV, forcing other cars off the road and that he even began throwing tools out of the window.
The chase ended just across the state line in Florida when Sutton abruptly stopped.
“Sutton then put the RV in reverse and rammed the patrol car,” Chief DeVane said.
After hitting the patrol car, police said Sutton attempted to turn around but got stuck. Chief DeVane told us apprehending Sutton was difficult because of the state the man was in.
“He was trying to get up and rolling around, shouting obscenities. They left him on the ground to avoid him knocking one of us out, thinking he’d calm down. He was just that violent,” Chief DeVane said.
HISTORY OF MENTAL ISSUES
Joshua’s father, Larry Sutton, said his son snapped after the recent death of his grandfather.
“He’s a good kid but he needs meds and we can’t get meds because there’s nowhere in the state of Alabama we know to take him to get meds,” Larry Sutton told us.
Larry Sutton said his son has had serious mental issues since be was seven years old, but that it's been nearly impossible to get him help.
“It’s a revolving door that doesn’t ever seem to get better,” he said. “It gets worse.”
The elder Sutton told us his son runs his own lawn care business, but without help he goes off track.
“With the right, proper care he can be a productive individual in society, He’s proven that,” Sutton said.
Joshua Sutton faces multiple charges in the police chase. Elberta police say this is the third time he’s had a run-in with their department over the last couple of years.
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