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WATER VALLEY – A local woman is behind bars after fleeing from police officers manning a driver’s safety checkpoint on Blackmur Drive on July 21. Water Valley Police Chief Jason Mangrum reported Matycia Murphy, 24, of Water Valley was charged with felony fleeing after leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended at a residence in the county.
The chief said that Murphy initially complied with a request from his officers to pull to the side of the road.
“They realized she had an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant and needed to check her identification to verify the warrant,” Mangrum explained. After confirming the warrant, officers attempted to work with the driver, asking if she could contact a family member to come to the scene and take custody of the children and the vehicle.
The chief reported the driver became irate and started using profanity.
“She accused the officers of falsifying the arrest warrant,” Mangrum said. “She decided to leave the checkpoint in a hurry, almost striking an officer.”
Officers pursued the vehicle with speeds approaching almost 100 miles per hour and Murphy allegedly tried to ram a patrol car a second time. She was taken into custody without incident after stopping at a residence and remains in custody in the Yalobusha County Detention Center with a $10,000 bond.
“Sadly, she turned a misdemeanor warrant that officers were willing to work with her on into a felony arrest,” Mangrum said. “She became agitated and escalated the situation.”
He also said the 2022 arrest warrant was for telephone harassment.
“Our officers are very good about working with the public. There is no need to flee from a traffic stop or checkpoint and possibly turn a minor warrant or traffic violation into potential prison time,” the chief stressed. “This suspect put her children, our officers and the public in danger.”
Citing a second example, another motorist avoided being booked in the county jail after officers stopped him for multiple traffic violations on July 17. Reggie Benson, also of Water Valley, was cited for simple possession of marijuana, driving under suspension and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
“This subject was very forthcoming and honest with the officer. When asked about the marijuana, he was very cooperative,” Mangrum said. “Simple possession of marijuana, generally speaking, will be handled with a citation versus an arrest.”