(JACKSON COUNTY, Miss.) - A Lucedale man who claims he's a member of the "Dixie Mafia" remained in jail Monday afternoon, charged with endangering the lives of deputies during a high speed chase.
Thirty-year-old Rocky Mallett is waiting to go before a judge in Jackson County, Mississippi.
The stocky 5'11, 230 pound man refused to pull over for a deputy Saturday night, after the lawman spotted him driving recklessly on Mississippi Highway 63, just north of Pascagoula.
What followed was a chase that involved Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd himself. It is a chase that turned ugly when deputies set up roadblocks ahead of the pursuit.
"He would not stop no matter what," said Sheriff Byrd. "We had several officers at different intersections that were going to attempt to stop him. He tried to ram two of the officers with his vehicle."
During the chase, one of the officers spun out, rolling his cruiser. That officer escaped serious injury.
Sheriff Byrd and his men chased Mallett all the way into Alabama, but they didn't stop there. With speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, deputies called on the Mobile County Sheriff's Office for help.
The chase turned north on to Grand Bay Wilmer Road, then to busy Highway 98, and eventually Wilmer Georgetown Road. And that's where Mobile deputies stopped Mallet's car with spike strips.
He had to be physically removed from the car, said Sheriff Byrd, fighting deputies until they got him cuffed. All the while, said Byrd, Mallett kept saying something.
"Yeah, he claimed to be part of the Dixie Mafia at one time," said the sheriff. "You know, he had done that when he was locked up in jail."
And just what is the Dixie Mafia?
"They were the mafia of the South from years back," said Byrd. "I was just a small child when I first heard of them. But this guy was no way in the Dixie Mafia. He's just spouting off at the mouth."
The sheriff was especially upset that his deputies and the public were placed in danger during the chase.
"I know all about that," he said somberly. "I had a son that died in the line of duty years years ago."