JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office arrested a 46-year-old man Sunday after he allegedly fled from an attempted traffic stop on a motorcycle and led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase.
Wendell Poplin, of Kirbyville, was arrested and charged with two felonies - evading arrest with a vehicle and manufacture and/or delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams. He was booked in to the Jasper County Jail on Monday.
Deputy Glenn Blank with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said additional charges could be pending against Poplin because he swerved his motorcycle toward a deputy's patrol unit during the chase.
According to the arrest affidavit, JCSO's K9 sergeant was on patrol on U.S. Highway 96 in the Buna area when he saw a white and blue Hayabusa motorcycle headed the opposite direction. He turned around and saw the motorcycle rider take off at a high rate of speed and fail to use a turn signal when he was changing lanes.
When the JCSO sergeant got close enough to activate his emergency lights, he saw the motorcycle rider turn his head to look toward him and then accelerate away at a high rate of speed, the affidavit stated.
At that point, the JCSO sergeant told dispatch to let the Kirbyville Police Department know that a pursuit was headed toward the town. Once he was inside the town's city limits, he backed off and let Kirbyville police officers have control of the chase.
The JCSO sergeant saw the motorcycle's driver take several turns in Kirbyville, and he got close enough to recognize the tattoos on the man's left forearm, the affidavit stated. The tattoos allowed him to identify the motorcycle rider as Poplin, despite the fact that the man was wearing a helmet, the affidavit stated.
Later, the JCSO deputy noticed the motorcycle rider turn right on Martin Luther King and then make a left turn on S. Vallie toward West Main Street in Kirbyville. After taking several more turns, the motorcycle turned off of County Road 494 and wound up on highway 96 again.
After the JCSO sergeant's patrol unit ran out of gas, another deputy picked him up.
A short time later, the JCSO sergeant heard over his radio that the motorcycle rider had crashed.
When the JCSO deputies got to the scene, they saw a Kirbyville PD officer empty Poplin's pockets on the hood of a patrol car. The officer pulled a plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance that tested positive as methamphetamine from Poplin's right pocket, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, the meth weighed 1.04 ounces.