Lauro Mesa
Lauro Mesa
A high-speed chase that began in Madison over suspected shoplifting ended near I-55 in Ridgeland last Friday.

A man is in custody and a female suspect remains on the run after a Madison officer was dragged across a parking lot.

The man, Lauro Mesa, 30, of Tampa has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, felony fleeing, shoplifting, and simple cruelty to a dog, according to Madison Police Department Major Robert Sanders.

Sanders added that additional charges from other agencies are possible and could include a probation violation from an out of state agency.

Mesa is currently being held at the Madison County Detention center without bond pending his initial appearance. 

Sanders said that Mesa was taken into custody after a multi jurisdiction chase that started after Mesa was confronted by Madison police for shoplifting outside of a Grandview Boulevard beauty supply shop. 

The chase included an officer being dragged for some distance across a parking lot, a car crash near the Natchez Trace and a small dog as a passenger.

The officer that was injured attempting to apprehend Mesa did not suffer life-threatening injuries and he was treated at a local hospital and released.

Mesa’s suspected accomplice Alvarez Yarelis remains at large.

Sanders said that on May 31, at 4:19 p.m. officers of the Madison Police Department responded to the Ulta Beauty location at 175 Grandview Blvd Suite 500 regarding a shoplifting in progress.

When officers arrived they met with management outside of the business. 

Management told law enforcement officials that a Hispanic male and a Hispanic female were inside the store shoplifting.  

“During the meeting, a Hispanic male exited the store and he was identified as one of the suspects involved in the theft,” Sanders said.

Officers identified themselves and the suspect fled on foot towards a parked car in the parking lot.

One of the officers attempted to apprehend the suspect as he entered his vehicle and the individual fled the scene dragging the officer a ways.  

Additional officers pursued the vehicle through the city of Madison onto U.S. 51 towards the city of Ridgeland. 

At that point officers of the Ridgeland Police Department intercepted the vehicle as it entered Interstate 55 southbound on the Natchez Trace.

The suspect’s vehicle then attempted to take the Natchez Trace Parkway exit where he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the tree line bordering the Natchez Trace and Interstate 55. 

Officers of the Madison Police Department, Ridgeland Police Department, and Madison County Sheriff’s Department set up a perimeter after obtaining information from a witness that the suspect had entered the wooded area just south of the accident. 

The Metro One helicopter provided surveillance of the area while officers conducted a search with the assistance of K9’s from each agency involved.

Mesa was taken into custody without incident.  

A small dog was inside the vehicle at the time of the accident.  A citizen stopped and picked her up and the dog is currently safe at the Webster Animal Shelter.

Officers found additional stolen items inside the vehicle. Some items are believed to be connected to reported incidents from stores in Louisiana jurisdictions including Ruston and Monroe.