Police: Martinsville man arrested after nearly hitting officers with car after chase

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HENRY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Deputies have arrested a man who they say refused to pull over during a traffic stop.

Deputies arrested 36-year-old James Thomas Barrow, 36, of  Martinsville, for felony eluding law enforcement, obstruction of justice, reckless driving, driving while suspended, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and the outstanding charge of failure to appear in court in Halifax County.

Additional charges of felony assault on law enforcement officers by a motor vehicle are pending further investigation of the incident.

Deputies say they tried to conduct the stop at about 12:22 a.m., on Monday, for a minor violation Barrow committed.

The deputy said he turned on his lights and siren, and Barrow, who was driving a 2004 Chevy Impala, did not stop.

The deputy then followed him to Collinsville at speeds below the posted speed limit.

Barrow made a series of turns that resulted in traveling South on Virginia Avenue. At this time, deputies say, he accelerated, disregarding traffic signals.

The chase traveled into Martinsville City, where the Martinsville Police Department assisted with the chase. The police department took the lead in the chase after Barrow made a sharp turn off of Memorial Blvd. onto Askin St.

"Our officer became the lead vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the vehicle they were pursuing had run off the road and struck a telephone poll," Martinsville Police Department Cpt. Robert Fincher explained.

Police say that Barrow lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an electric pole on Oak Street in Martinsville.

"The blue lights come flying up the road, flashing, and the red lights flashing. That's what woke me up," said neighbor Claudie Spencer.

He attempted to leave the scene once more, but backed his vehicle into an unoccupied patrol car and attempted to drive away, narrowly missing a deputy and an officer who were out of their vehicle to apprehend Barrow, according to a press release.

The Impala then hit a fence, which stopped it and prevented it from driving off a retaining wall.

After struggling with the officers and deputies, Barrow was then taken into custody.

"I just saw a bunch of police officers around at first. That's all I saw," Spencer recalled. "I really didn't know that telephone was hit until I came out this morning."

He is being held at Henry County Jail without bond.

The passenger in the car is wanted for questioning, but as of Monday afternoon no charges had been filed against him or her.