Salem man arrested following two-county pursuit

MARION COUNTY — A 58-year-old Salem man was arrested Sunday night following a police pursuit that started in response to a “road rage” report near Ina and ended on Mills Cart Road in Salem.

Earl Michael Morlan
(Source: MCSO)

Earl Morlan was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding, driving on a revoked license, improper lane usage and felony retail theft.

An Ina officer began the pursuit of a vehicle described as a lifted, white Ford F-150 without plates and with loud exhaust attempting to ram other vehicles head-on. Reports indicated the truck was traveling at high speeds and attempting to ram other vehicles head-on.

The pursuit continued onto northbound Route 37 with speeds reaching more than 100 miles per hour.

Once the pursuit reached the county line, Marion County Sheriff’s deputies took over the chase and a county squad car was apparently struck by the truck they believed was reported as stolen Saturday night. Spike strips were deployed at Route 37 and Church and one tire on the truck began to lose air.

Deputies and officers continued the pursuit onto westbound U.S. Highway 50 before the tire was lost near Landers Collision Center on Mills Cart Road.

The Morlan was taken into custody at gunpoint and was taken to the Marion County Jail.

Reports say the pickup truck was taken on a test drive from a home in Kinmundy and was never returned. A car left behind in the driveway turned out to have been stolen from a home in the 1500 block of Mills Cart Road in Salem earlier that day.

According to Central City Police, they filed a felony retail theft case against Morlan after he allegedly left a Central City gas station in the Ford truck without paying for gas and cigarettes after a debit card was declined. He left his ID with the clerk but never returned. Charges could still be filed in Jefferson County.