A Haleyville woman has been arrested after allegedly forcing occupants out of a vehicle in a carjacking situation, then ditching the vehicle by driving it into a pond with the victims’ dog still inside.
Cassie Leigh Farley, 27, of Haleyville, has been charged with theft of property first degree, assault third degree, possession of controlled substances, possession of marijuana second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Winston County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Franks.
The sheriff’s office received a call of a stolen vehicle around 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. A man and his son were attempting to get into their green Toyota four-wheel-drive pickup, as a female was walking down the driveway, sheriff’s officials said.
“The son was in the process of leaving, had his dog in the vehicle, and the lady runs and jumps in the vehicle,” Franks pointed out.
When this occurred, the son jumped into the bed of the truck, trying to get the back window open so he could get his dog out of the truck, said Franks, adding the son fell out of the truck’s bed and broke his right ankle.
The father, meanwhile, was reaching through the driver’s window in attempts of stopping the female when she rolled up the window on the father’s arm, injuring his arm, Franks pointed out.
The man and his son reportedly did not know the woman who took their truck by force and drove away with the German Shepherd still in the truck, authorities said.
The father and son also did not know the direction of travel she took, but the father drove around seeking the truck, spotting it in the Orange community in Franklin County, sheriff’s officials said.
“Once I got there and found out the vehicle was stolen, I saw a lady in what I thought was the vehicle at the Pebble Fire Department,” noted Winston County Sheriff Horace Moore.
At this point, Moore began pursuing the female subject, he said.
An ambulance arrived on the scene, and medics, the Pebble Fire Department and other first responders provided treatment to the son’s injuries, authorities said.
The son was transported from the scene by ambulance for further treatment at North Alabama Medical Center in Florence, officials said.
The father, meanwhile, spotted the green Toyota being driven in the area of Orange Baptist Church in Franklin County, with Moore heading toward that area to provide assistance.
The female reportedly drove the truck through a pasture fence and into a pond off Franklin County Road 93, at Haney Hill Road, Franks said.
She abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, leaving the dog inside the truck and the vehicle partially submerged in the water, sheriff’s officials said.
People in the area had a wench, so they drove into the pasture, attached the wench to the truck and pulled it from the pond, being able to free the dog, which was not injured, authorities said.
About this time, law enforcement received a call about another stolen vehicle. Franklin County dispatch was advised that authorities had the green Toyota.
Authorities did not have a direction of travel for the female who had left on foot, so Franks did a search, not finding her at that time, he said.
A neighbor about half a mile away from where the truck had been submerged in the pond, reported his 1998 white Chevrolet Z-71 pickup had just been stolen, according to Franks.
The white truck was seen traveling north on County Highway 93. Through further investigation and questions, it was determined the white truck stolen from Franklin County had some items in the back, including a battery box, sheriff’s officials said.
An official learned through monitoring Facebook that items from the back of the white truck were listed as being for sale, so arrangements were made to set up a meeting to purchase the items.
“The lady we had been looking for since this incident occurred was with this guy who was trying to sell property taken out of the truck,” Moore said.
Haleyville Police were able to arrest the male subject in the Haleyville area. Moore arrested Farley on assault warrants the sheriff’s office had on her from the green truck incident. Moore transported Farley to the Winston County Jail in Double Springs without further incident.
The male subject, identified as Patrick Wayne Markham, 28, of Double Springs, was arrested by the Haleyville Police Department on charges of receiving stolen property fourth degree, authorities said.
The white truck was found stuck in the mud in a wooded area in Lawrence County and was recovered by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Moore stated.
Moore is very happy these cases were solved so quickly.
“This is an example of quick response by Deputy Franks and myself. We were able to act quickly, recover the vehicle and get warrants on the female subject,” Moore said.
The sheriff’s office has been able to recover several stolen vehicles in recent months, Moore said.
“We have had several vehicles in our county stolen in the last couple of months. We have recovered many of them and made arrests in some of the cases,” Moore said.
Moore encourages all Winston County residents to lock their vehicles and their doors to help deter would-be thieves.
“I encourage you to take your keys out of your vehicle and lock your doors. There are more people walking the roads in neighborhoods than ever before. Don’t make it easy for someone to take your vehicle,” Moore advised.
Moore encourages county residents who see suspicious activity taking place to call the sheriff’s office at (205) 489-2115.
*When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.