What could have been a routine traffic stop in Marlow Wednesday afternoon turned into a high speed chase, in which the suspect showed “complete disregard for the safety of others.”
According to the affidavit filed by Stephens County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Peck, the chase with Wesley Campbell nearly resulted in a head-on collision with another vehicle. In addition, the 33-year-old Campbell, a Marlow resident, almost crashed into a school bus with children aboard.
At one point, the suspect tossed a handgun out of the vehicle and when he was finally apprehended, officers also found Campbell possessed marijuana and paraphernalia.
Peck’s statement outlines the events that led to the chase, which also involved Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers.
Peck and Deputy Ladd Polk were fueling their patrol vehicle around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Love’s Store at U.S. Highway 81 and Choctaw Road, when they saw two men at a nearby residence. Peck said he recognized one of the men as Campbell, who Peck believed didn’t have a valid driver’s license and was a suspect in a high speed pursuit with Marlow Police Department officers.
After checking with MPD, Peck confirmed the identity of the individual and then called Stephens County Dispatch for verification of Campbell’s driving privileges. Dispatch advised Peck the suspect did not have an Oklahoma license and his Texas license was not eligible.
Peck later saw Campbell driving a vehicle on Choctaw Road near Fourth Street. When the blue Dodge Neon passed the patrol car, the deputies activated lights and sirens. As the officers were turning around, Campbell allegedly began driving faster.
Campbell’s path took him to Fifth and Caddo Street, where he nearly caused a head-on collision.
“When approaching Ninth Street, a Marlow school bus was crossing the intersection of Ninth and Caddo, traveling north on Ninth,” Peck noted, in his report, which also indicated Campbell was going 60 mph in a 25 mph zone.
In the affidavit, Peck said, “Campbell slammed his brakes, causing several feet of skid marks, nearly slamming into the school bus which was occupied by several children. Campbell swerved left, avoiding the bus by only a few feet.”
The chase continued, with Campbell increasing his speed to 70 mph as they approached McKinley Road heading to Nabor Road. After several more turns, the chase reached Ballpark Road and Marlow Lt. Anthony Lynch joined the pursuit.
Near Dewitt Road and Ballpark, Campbell slowed down and tossed an item out of the car, which later proved to be a silver and black handgun.
Campbell passed another school bus that was traveling east, but after turning south on Four Mile Road, he finally came to a stop.
During the search of Campbell, Peck found two small, clear plastic baggies with what appeared to be marijuana, along with a package of Zig Zag papers.
OHP Trooper Kevin Crawford retrieved the pistol, a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber. Campbell told deputies the chamber of the gun was not loaded, but a loaded round was found inserted in the weapon. Peck also found a brown leather pouch in the driver’s seat with 25 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition.
The vehicle was impounded and Campbell’s passenger was released after a records check came up clean.
After Miranda Rights were read to Campbell, Peck’s affidavit noted Campbell said he eluded deputies because he didn’t have a valid license and didn’t want the handgun discovered, because he is a convicted felon.
McKinney said Campbell has history of previous felonies, including burglary and grand larceny in Texas.
He was booked into the Stephens County Jail on felony charges for attempting to elude police, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm, all after former conviction of a felony.
Campbell was expected to appear in Stephens County District Court, but no court information was available late Thursday afternoon.