Man arrested after fleeing law, crashing through house injuring boy
The man fleeing law enforcement who crashed through a Line Street home Wednesday night as a boy worked on his computer catapulting him into the back yard was arrested about an hour later after he fled the horrific scene on foot and hid in the woods behind a nearby church, the authorities said.
The suspect, Jeremy Henry Howard, 29, 10531 Road 460, was arrested at about 10 p.m. on several charges including felony pursuit and is suspected to have been under the influence, said Neshoba County Sheriff Eric Clark.
Howard, who has an extensive criminal record, has given an Ocobla address in the past. He was one of the men connected to a 2020 incident where a rifle was stolen from an MBI agent’s vehicle during a revival at The First Baptist Church and 11 guns were eventually seized.
The boy, 13-year-old Cullen McCoy, remains in critical condition at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson after undergoing major surgery in the wee hours Thursday, his family has said in various Facebook posts.
Monday he was moved from ICU into a regular room. 'He looked at his stapled incision and can’t wait to show his friends his cool scar," his mother, Dakota Smith Flora, wrote on Facebook
On Saturday, McCoy was out of surgery, off a ventilator and talking to his mother. "The first thing he said to me was 'momma I love you I’m so happy to be alive. When can I talk to all my friends?' Praise God. We have been given lil reminders throughout the last few days," his mother wrote.
As of Thursday morning, Henry had been charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, felony fleeing and felony leaving the scene of an accident as well as misdemeanor traffic violations that include reckless driving, improper equipment, no proof of insurance and disorderly conduct.
Clark said that more charges are pending as they have submitted a blood sample from Henry to the state crime lab for analysis. Clark said Henry was believed to be impaired.
He also noted that the drug charge could be increased to “possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell” based on the way the marijuana discovered was packaged and other paraphernalia believed to belong to Henry.
Police Chief Eric Lyons said that his department has not brought charges against Henry as of Thursday morning but that charges in his jurisdiction are possible.
The incident started as a traffic stop made by a Sheriff’s deputy on west Beacon Street near the Holland Avenue intersection around 8:35 p.m. on Feb. 2, Clark said.
The deputy made contact with the driver, who was identified as Henry, and suspect that he was impaired. He then asked Henry to step out of the car.
Henry then sped off from the traffic stop and the deputy pursued the vehicle down Poplar Avenue where the fleeing vehicle crashed into the residence on Line Street.
Clark said that his deputy briefly lost Henry but soon found his vehicle almost all the way through the house on Line Street. Clark said that at the house the deputy discovered that Henry had fled and that there was a victim, a 13-year-old male.
“He determined there was a victim and stayed to render aid,” Clark said.
Lyons said that his department was called to the scene around 8:45 p.m.
“Philadelphia police arrived on scene and assisted with the incident and search of the driver who was apprehended a short time later,” Lyons said.
Clark said the ensuing manhunt to locate Henry ended around 9:45 p.m. when PD located him in the woods behind Trinity Baptist Church.
“We set up a manhunt that lasted quite a while,” Clark said. Probably an hour or better.”
During their search, Clark said that authorities located a backpack containing “a significant amount of marijuana” as well as Henry’s personal information including papers related to the vehicle he was driving.
Clark said that the victim was transported to Neshoba General. Clark said that the last update he received was that the victim was “more stable than when he arrived.” The victim was transported to University Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson by ambulance as inclement weather prevented an airlift.
Clark said that Henry said he fled because he thought the cop said he had a warrant. Clark said that Henry was out on bond for a felony.
Henry has a long history with the law. In November of 2020, Henry was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana in a vehicle and possession of paraphernalia.
The charges stemmed from an investigation into a rifle stolen from an MBI agent’s vehicle parked at First Baptist for a revival. The investigation led them to Henry who was in possession of 11 stolen firearms including the MBI rifle.
Nicholas Lamar Catchings was ultimately charged with stealing the weapon.
Most recently in November of 2021, he was arrested and charged with domestic violence, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia after deputies responded to a domestic dispute call. All are misdemeanor charges.
At the time authorities determined that the amount of weed was just below a felony.
The boy's great-aunt Megan McCoy has started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. As of Friday about $7,000 of a $10,000 goal had been raised.
She writes: "My wonderful, great-nephew Cullen McCoy, 13 years old, was the victim of a tragic accident last night while doing his homework sitting at his desk. The police were chasing a suspect who was driving at least 80 miles an hour down the street directly in front of his house and the car ran into the house and out the back of it. Cullen was thrown into the backyard. He had multiple internal injuries. He was rushed to the Children’s hospital in Jackson where he had a life-saving 5-hour surgery. He has months of recovery ahead of him. There is no health insurance. The man who hit the house has no insurance."