Motorcycle chase ends in arrest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 5, 2003

A Saturday night domestic issue ended in the arrest of a Tyler man charged with four felony counts.

John Rodney Skelton Jr., 31, was charged with criminal mischief first degree, two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle and robbery first degree after being arrested near Wallace Community College Selma.

According to Selma Police Department Lt. David Evans, Skelton was brought to the Dallas County Jail under no bond pending a bond hearing.

Skelton’s arrest stemmed from a domestic incident that began around 7 p.m. Saturday. Evans said Skelton and Richard M. Tatum, Jr., 23, of Jones were involved in a dispute that led to a challenge being issued.

Selma Police Department Public Information Officer Warren Hinson said Skelton issued the challenge to Tatum to meet at Bloch Park and settle their dispute.

On the way to Bloch Park Skelton allegedly called Tatum on his cell phone and asked where he was, Hinson said. Moments after Tatum answered, his car was rammed from behind.

Skelton then allegedly exited his car and began firing at Tatum’s vehicle with an assault gun.

Evans noted that Tatum was driving with a passenger and that one of the bullets went right between them.

Tatum drove away and contacted police while Skelton allegedly gained a new vehicle.

According to Evans, Skelton allegedly robbed a Frisco City man and his wife of their motorcycle. Evans said Steve Alan Morris, 37, was driving west on Dallas Avenue and thought a car accident had occurred. Morris slowed down and that’s when Skelton allegedly ordered them off the motorcycle.

Skelton allegedly drove from the intersection of Dallas Avenue and Pettus Street to the downtown area, where police began chasing him. The chase continued from downtown to the Cecil Jackson Bypass, US Highway 14 West and finally the Wallace Community College Selma area before Skelton was apprehended.

Evans said the possibility existed that Skelton could face federal prosecution because the robbery first charge may fall under the federal carjacking statute.