By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – When Mark Townsend was last seen in Yalobusha County he was headed south on Hwy. 7 on October 7 at the Yalobusha/Grenada County Line driving a stolen truck with deputies hot on his trail. On Monday afternoon he arrived back in the county, this time handcuffed and in the back of a deputy’s squad car en route to the county jail.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported Townsend was apprehended by U.S. Marshals Monday morning in Hinds County. He faces a barrage of charges including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of burglaries, four counts possession stolen property, possession of meth with intent and felony taking of a motor vehicle following an alleged four-day crime spree in the county. He also faces multiple charges in other counties and states.
“I worked with the Marshals to see if we could get him first, he is wanted in a lot of jurisdictions,” Humphreys said.
Townsend, originally from Neshoba County, had deputies working overtime from October 4 – 7 after officers with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks initially made contact with him and a female companion at Cossar State Park. Humphreys said Townsend fled from the officers after resisting arrest, speeding away in a stolen truck pulling a stolen trailer carrying a stolen lawn mower.
After the couple fled, MDWFP officers recovered a second stolen truck parked nearby at the state park. Deputies and troopers with the Highway Patrol soon joined the search that continued during the weekend. Reports of break-ins and burglaries were attributed to Townsend, culminating with the stolen truck early on Oct. 7 as he fled the county.
An initial appearance on the aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer was held in justice court on Tuesday and bond for Townsend was set at $125,000.