Two Limestone County Sheriff’s officials were patrolling Wednesday night near the intersection of Oak Grove and Thatch roads when a PT Cruiser blew past them, an official said Thursday.

Lt. Jay Stinnett and Deputy Chad Wynn pulled up behind the car and turned on the blue lights of their patrol car — the universal signal to all drivers that the folks behind would like a word with you.

The driver ignored the warning and fled, with the deputies in pursuit, reaching speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, Capt. Stanley McNatt said Thursday.

“He made several turns and veered into oncoming traffic,” McNatt said.

Eventually, the driver pulled over on New Garden Road, but not to surrender.

“He got out and attempted to run on foot, but the deputies caught him,” he said. “He resisted their attempt to handcuff him but was subdued.

The reason the driver didn’t stop?

“He was intoxicated,” McNatt said.

The officers arrested Estill Joe Ritchie, 48, of 24910 Elkton Road on 10 charges, including driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, attempting to elude, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, speeding, improper passing, failing to signal, resisting arrest and possessing and open container of alcohol, records show.

He remained in the Limestone County Jail Thursday in lieu of posting a $7,000 bail, McNatt said.


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