Shelby County man leads officers on nearly 2 hour pursuit through Tuscaloosa, Birmingham


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Shelby County man in a stolen truck led Tuscaloosa officers on a lengthy pursuit Sunday morning before he surrendered in downtown Birmingham.

Ricky Wayne Russell, 40, was charged with 1st degree theft, reckless endangerment and attempting to elude, and issued multiple traffic citations. The pursuit lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama State Troopers, Brookwood Police Department and Hueytown Police Department all assisted with the pursuit. Authorities say that speeds never reached higher than 50-60 miles per hour.

The pursuit began at 9:45 a.m. when a caller reported seeing a box truck that was stolen from a business on James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway. An officer located the truck and tried to pull it over in the Five Points area of University Boulevard East at 9:46 a.m. Russell refused to stop and led the officer east on Alabama Highway 216 toward Brookwood.

Russell caused major damage to a TPD patrol vehicle when he struck twice while driving on the wrong side of Highway 216 near Lock 17 Road.

He got onto Interstate 20/59 in Bessemer. He drove into the Ensley area about 40 minutes into the pursuit. A Jefferson County deputy deployed spike strips and disabled one of the truck’s rear tires. That rim eventually fell off, followed by a second one 20 minutes later when Russell was driving on the interstate at 35 miles per hour.

Russell slowed to around 10 miles per hour and pulled off at Exit 124A and came to a stop at Fifth Avenue North and 12th Street North in Birmingham. Officers took him into custody at 11:31 a.m.

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