EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Topping 100 miles per hour, a Mississippi man lead East Texas authorities on a 30 mile chase; all with pepper spray in his eyes.
The driver was identified as 48-year-old Anthony Smylie. His passenger was 36-year-old Catina Smylie. It started around 8:40 Tuesday morning on Interstate 20 near Highway 155 when Smith County authorities made a traffic stop. But when authorities asked to search the couple's SUV, Anthony took off.
It was a recipe for disaster that ended safely. Wiping pepper spray from his eyes, deputies say Anthony is lucky to be alive.
"Everything turned out great," said Deputy Constable Mark Waters, with Smith County Pct. 5. "We are just thankful no one was injured."
It was a license plate that prompted Constable Waters to stop the SUV. Waters says he could not see the state. But there was an even bigger problem.
"I asked for consent to search the vehicle and it was refused," he said. "I used my K-9 drug dog to walk around the vehicle and conduct a free search. The dog alerted the vehicle."
Both Anthony and Catina were asked to step out of their SUV. Waters says a DPS trooper arrived to help, but Anthony did not want them inside his SUV.
"The driver of the vehicle began a confrontation with Trooper Tullis," explained Waters. "The trooper maced the driver and at that time he took off running and jumped in the vehicle and a pursuit began.
For 20 minutes, weaving in and out of traffic, Waters says authorities chased Anthony through Smith and Gregg County. During the chase, Waters says Anthony threw two bundles of marijuana out the window. A deputy threw down spikes.
"It ended right here," said Waters, pointing to the spot. "He pulled over on the side of the road with four flat tires."
Bringing an end to a chase that, fortunately, Waters says, only left Anthony with a pair of sore eyes.
Both Anthony and Catina Smylie have been charged with possession of marijuana. Anthony has also been charged with evading arrest.