Suspect jailed after lengthy vehicle chase through Panola, Rusk counties

Suspect jailed after lengthy vehicle chase through Panola, Rusk counties
James Kapaakea Jinks was arrested after a lengthy pursuit through Panola and Rusk County. (Source: Panola County Jail)

PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A suspect is in custody after an hour-long chase through Panola and Rusk counties Sunday.

The pursuit began around 2:25 p.m., when a Panola County deputy tried stopping a vehicle driving 15 miles per hour above the speed limit on Highway 149 in the Riderville community, a news release stated.

The driver, later identified as 24-year-old James Kapaakea Jinks, of Beckville, continued through northwestern Panola County and into eastern Rusk County, according to Sheriff Kevin Lake.

Additional deputies from Panola and Rusk counties, troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Tatum Police Department joined the pursuit.

At one point Jinks lost control and spun out into a ditch.

Jinks’ vehicle then struck one of the Panola County patrol units trying to block the suspect from escaping, Lake said.

Despite having two deflated tires, Jinks drove to a dead end road in the Beckville area, before turning onto gravel roads on private property.

The news release stated Jinks drove through a fence and traveled nearly a mile down a pipeline right-of-way, where the disabled vehicle was later found abandoned.

Two hours later, Jinks was taken into custody following a foot pursuit.

A passenger in Jinks’ vehicle was treated and released by EMS for minor injuries.

Jinks was booked into the Panola County Detention Center on charges including Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant, Evading Arrest with a Vehicle, Evading Detention, Reckless Driving, a Panola County warrant for Evading Arrest with a Vehicle, and Driving While License Invalid with Previous Convictions.

Lake said his office appreciates the assistance from other agencies and the public.

“The local residents were very gracious to unlock gates and guide officers onto private property during the search efforts. We were also offered private ATVs, other resources, and drinking water by our citizens in that area.”

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