Florida men arrested following high-speed chase

Firearms recovered following Wednesday’s pursuit.
Firearms recovered following Wednesday’s pursuit.

BAY MINETTE, Alabama — Three Florida men were arrested Wednesday following a high-speed chase with Bay Minette police officers through areas of North Baldwin, including residential areas of Bay Minette.

According to a release issued Thursday by Bay Minette Police Chief Al Tolbert, the chase began after officers responded to a call for service at approximately 10:36 a.m. Wednesday at the American Pride Gas Station on Hand Avenue for a vehicle and three male subjects who had been parked in front of the store for an extended amount of time.

When officers arrived, they made contact with the driver of the vehicle, Mark Allen Snellgrove, 28, of Crestview, Florida. During the encounter Snellgrove reportedly gave officers a false name. When the officer confronted Snellgrove about the false information he provided, Snellgrove attempted to drive away.

One officer attempted to reach inside the fleeing vehicle and turn the engine off. During this attempt the fleeing vehicle struck a Bay Minette police car and a utility pole. This caused the officer that was hanging onto the vehicle to be thrown from the vehicle into another parked vehicle and the asphalt, suffering minor injuries.

Officers were then led on a high-speed chase through residential areas of Bay Minette, the Stockton community and eventually ending on Quinley Road in the Crossroads community.

The chase ended when officers followed the vehicle onto private property on a dead-end road. Two Bay Minette police officers were able to ram the vehicle, immobilizing it as attempts were made to maneuver around officers to drive back onto the public roadway.

During the pursuit numerous items were thrown from the vehicle, according to the release, including drugs, a speaker box, tools, and a firearm.

The front seat passenger, Terry Lee Bofonchik, 41, of Crestview, Florida, was immediately taken into custody without incident. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm, tampering with physical evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia and receiving stolen property, second degree.

Backseat passenger Rodger Anthony Manning, 36, of Baker, Florida, reportedly resisted arrest, was tased and removed from the vehicle. According to the release, in the process of his arrest, Manning bit an officer’s finger.

He was charged with assault, second degree, receiving stolen property, second degree, certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol, and resisting arrest.

Snellgrove refused to exit the vehicle and a K-9 bite dog was deployed into the vehicle to assist with his arrest. The K-9 successfully apprehended the driver and removed him from the vehicle, according to the release.

Snellgrove was charged with assault, first degree, receiving stolen property, second degree, certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol, giving false ID to a law enforcement officer, felony attempt to elude, tampering with physical evidence, reckless endangerment, no driver license, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, third degree, and 18 traffic violations, including control signal legend; two counts, improper lane change; exceeding reasonable road speed; four counts, failure to signal; and 10 counts, failure to stop at a stop sign.

Two handguns were located and were confirmed to be stolen. Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia items were also found that were thrown from the vehicle during the pursuit.

All three suspects have lengthy criminal histories, according to the release.

After being treated and released from local healthcare facilities, the three suspects were booked into the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Correction Center where they are awaiting a bond hearing on Friday.

All officers involved sustained only minor injuries.