— A Muskogee man arrested Monday after leading law enforcers on a high-speed chase claimed that he was not bound to the patrol officer’s authority.
Jeff Nigel Howard, 38, was arrested just after noon Monday at 115 Grandview Blvd. after eluding law enforcers for more than 15 minutes.
Howard was booked into the Muskogee County
/City Detention Facility on complaints of:
• Assaulting a police officer.
• Four counts of running a road block.
• Obstructing an officer.
• Failure to display current license plate.
• Not having a driver’s license.
Lt. Mike Childress of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Howard, who was initially stopped on Shawnee Bypass near Muskogee High School, told the patrol officer who pulled him over that he was a sovereign citizen.
“He cracked his window a little bit and said, ‘Officer, I appreciate your job and your authority, but I’m a sovereign citizen and therefore I do not have to abide by it,’” Childress said.
“We’re running into these guys every once in a while.”
Childress said Howard had been pulled over for speeding, and he told the officer that he would like to speak to a supervisor. Childress, the closest supervisor, was north of Muskogee, about 45 minutes away, he said.
“(Howard) kept getting more and more agitated the longer he waited, so he finally just took off,” Childress said.
Howard swerved and attempted to strike an OHP vehicle during the pursuit, he said.
Muskogee High School was briefly locked down because of its proximity to the chase. Childress said the pursuit went throughout northeastern Muskogee and ended in a driveway at 115 Grandview Blvd., in the city’s southeastern part.
Members of the OHP, Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office, Muskogee Police Department and Bacone campus police department were involved in the pursuit.
The FBI’s website says in its entry on “sovereign citizens” that the agency “considers sovereign-citizens as comprising a domestic terrorist movement.”
Childress said Howard’s vehicle, a late-model Cadillac, displayed a “bogus” license plate from Iowa, but he possessed a proper Oklahoma tag.
“He just didn’t have it on,” Childress said.
Highway Patrol troopers searched Howard’s car for more than an hour, pulling out a suitcase and several shopping bags. Childress said that to his knowledge, nothing out of the ordinary was found.
Howard will appear in court at 3 p.m. Wednesday to have his bond set.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or email@example.com.
Jeff Nigel Howard, arrested Monday after leading law enforcers on a high-speed chase, will appear in court at 3 p.m. Wednesday to have a bond set.