By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — An ex-convict with a criminal record in four counties is being sought on a charge of attempting to elude police from Highway 177 and Highway 33 in Perkins to Highway 18 and south onto numerous Lincoln County roads, at times driving more than 100 miles per hour while a passenger was urging him to stop, court records allege.
Jeremiah Roy Valenzuela, 36, of Stroud, who got out of prison a year ago, could be given as much as a life sentence if convicted, due to his prior convictions in Payne, Lincoln, Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, court records show.
In his Payne County case filed in August, an arrest warrant was issued three weeks ago for Valenzuela, who fled on foot after his truck crashed sometime after midnight on June 17, Perkins Police Officer Charles Danker alleged in an affidavit.
Following a chase from Perkins into Lincoln County, in which the driver periodically turned off his lights, the truck ran into a guide wire of an electric utility pole, the affidavit alleged.
“I applied my brakes to stop and on the heavy dew and mud, I slid into the rear of the suspect vehicle. The driver bailed out on foot and ran. I gave commands for him to stop and he ran into the woods. I continued chasing him through the woods and into a clearing where he went into another patch of brush,” the Perkins officer alleged in his affidavit.
“I returned back to the suspect vehicle where a passenger was detained,” who said she only knew his first name was Jeremiah, the officer alleged.
“She said he picked her up in Guthrie and was headed back to Stroud when I attempted to stop them,” on a traffic offense, the officer alleged.
“I asked why he ran and she said he had been drinking and told her if he got arrested, he would go back to prison,” the officer alleged.
“She said she asked him multiple times to stop and he wouldn’t,” the affidavit alleged.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Brown said, “he runs all the time and his family lived about a half-mile from where the pursuit ended,” the affidavit alleged. The truck was registered to Valenzuela’s father, the affidavit alleged.
The woman, who had no charges, asked to be transported back to Perkins where her brother from Guthrie would pick her up, but she had numbness in her legs and feet, so she was taken to the Cushing hospital, the affidavit said.
“During the pursuit, the suspect vehicle passed vehicles, numerous houses, and went through multiple controlled and uncontrolled intersections at high rates of speed without any due regard for the public’s safety,” the affidavit alleged.
According to court records and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Valenzuela was released from prison in July of 2018 after serving time for:
* methamphetamine possession in Cushing in 2016, for which he was given a five-year sentence from Payne County concurrent to the following Lincoln County prison term;
* actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in Lincoln County in 2013, for which he was originally given probation that was revoked in 2016 to a five-year sentence;
* domestic abuse by strangulation in 2016 in Edmond, for which he was given a two-year sentence from Oklahoma County concurrent to his Lincoln County prison term.
Valenzuela also was convicted in 2008 of actual physical control in Tulsa County, for which he was placed on probation for two years with 10 consecutive weekends in the Tulsa County Jail.