Jennings man fleeing police attempts to jump Black Bayou bridge

Published: Dec. 6, 2016 at 5:01 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2016 at 11:07 PM CST
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(Source: Google Maps)
(Source: Google Maps)
(Source: Combined Anti-drug Team)
(Source: Combined Anti-drug Team)
Morgan Lyons (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)
Morgan Lyons (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

BIG LAKE (KPLC) - A man leading police on a high-speed pursuit attempted to jump the Black Bayou bridge Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Morgan J. Lyons, 37, of Jennings, was wanted on two active warrants out of Jeff Davis Parish.

Combined Anti-drug Team detectives and FBI agents began surveilling a home on Gulf Highway around 8 a.m. in an attempt to locate Lyons, said Kim Myers, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. Lyons left the residence around 11:30 a.m. and headed south. Deputies attempted to stop his vehicle, but he fled.

Lyons drove into Cameron Parish and through Big Lake, where he approached the Black Bayou bridge, heading north.

As he approached the bridge, operators raised the aprons to stop him, but he crashed through the traffic arms. Lyons' truck went over the apron and came to rest on the pontoon.

"Not only do the traffic arms come down but there's a concrete barrier that comes up," explained Calcasieu Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory. "He attempted to actually jump the bridge."

Guillory says he's not surprised.

"It's really not unusual to have suspects try to run from the police or evade the police," Guillory said. "I mean that's par for the course now."

CAT detectives and the Lake Charles FBI have been assisting the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Office to locate Lyons, who was evading arrest from an ongoing drug investigation, Lake Charles Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Kraus said on behalf of the CAT team.

The surveillance began after CAT detectives learning that Lyons was operating his drug enterprise out of Calcasieu Parish and living in Lake Charles.

Following the pursuit, CAT and the FBI found approximately 4.5 kilograms of cocaine, two firearms, and U.S. currency, Kraus said.  Lyons is a convicted felon.

In addition to the charges related to the chase, Lyons is charged with possession of cocaine over 400 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, having a firearm in the presence of drugs and illegal use of U.S. currency. Judge Michael Canaday set bond at $710,000.

Guillory said the chase started about 11:30 Tuesday morning when deputies tried to stop Lyons. Guillory says the warrants include charges of drug manufacturing and firearms charges.

"Distribution, manufacturing, possession of CDS 1, CDS 2, possession drug paraphernalia, illegally carrying a firearm by a convicted felon, transactions involving proceeds from the drug offense, two counts of illegal possession of a (stolen) firearm," said Guillory.

Lyons' heavily damaged truck  was brought to Bernard's Towing. Deputies say emergency medical personnel cleared Lyons of any injuries. Meanwhile state transportation employees repaired damage to the traffic arms.  They still managed to accommodate marine traffic on the Intracoastal canal and traffic on Big Lake Road.

The Calcasieu combined anti-drug task force or cat team will take over the investigation and more charges are likely.

The barriers were up, but Lyons drove through them and attempted to jump the bridge, crashing in the process, Myers said. Emergency medical personnel arrived and cleared Lyons of any injuries.

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