Woman flees traffic stop, high-speed chase ends with arrest

A woman is jailed on numerous complaints for allegedly leading deputies on a high-speed chase after fleeing from a traffic stop and allegedly punching the deputy trying to arrest her.

Shirley Kay Hightower, 43, is jailed on $20,000 bond at the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center, where she is held on complaints of driving under suspension, attempting to elude police, assault on an officer and resisting arrest, jail records show.

Hightower was arrested early Thursday morning. Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Fletcher’s report shows he stopped Hightower, driving a 1998 Honda, about 12:21 a.m. on Gordon Cooper Drive at Father Joe Murphy Drive.

Fletcher stopped Hightower because she was allegedly driving with high beam lights and wasn’t dimming them as others passed, including Deputy Matt Byers, also on patrol.

During that stop, she allegedly told Fletcher she forgot to dim the lights and couldn’t find her driver’s license, the report shows. Fletcher’s narrative shows Hightower was acting nervous and was asked to step out of her vehicle.

That’s when she allegedly put the gear shift into drive and took off at a high rate of speed, the report shows.

She drove southbound on Gordon Cooper Drive, where her speeds reached 80 mph in the 45 mph zone, according to the report.

At Benson Park Road, she turned east, Fletcher noted in his report, where she was allegedly driving 110 mph in a 40 mph zone.

In the 43100 block of Benson Park Road, she reportedly hit her brakes and attempted to turn into a driveway, the report shows, but she lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a ditch.

She began running into a wooded area, where Fletcher temporarily lost sight of her. He found her a few minutes later on the side of a ravine, and she ran again, the report shows.

Fletcher began yelling for her to stop because she was under arrest, but when she got within five to 10 feet of him, she allegedly turned around and faced Fletcher, then struck him in the chin, the report said.

She was taken to the ground by Fletcher and handcuffed by Deputy Matt Byers, the report said. She asked for REACT EMS and paramedics responded to check her out, but she refused any medical treatment.

Deputies learned Hightower was driving with a suspended license; she was booked into jail on numerous complaints. According to the report, Hightower doesn’t have an address and reportedly lives in her car.

Formal charges have not been filed, but the case will be turned over to the district attorney’s office for review.