Colin Krieger/The Packet
Notorious local malefactor Damien “Thug” Hampton is still at large after he escaped capture and crashed his runaway car on Ridge Road Sunday morning.
The incident began around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when E-911 operators dispatched Lowndes County Deputy Mark McGairty to a home in the 1900 block of Ridge Road for a routine welfare check. According to reports, McGairty arrived at the home of Lindsay Sansing to check on her well-being after her husband Josh, from whom she is separated, called authorities to the scene. Josh Sansing reportedly claimed that an unidentified black male, later identified as 33-year-old Damien Hampton, threatened him with a gun when he knocked on the front door to speak with his estranged wife. Sansing quickly left the scene and drove down the road to phone authorities, not knowing if Hampton had been an intruder or an invited guest. McGairty arrived at the home to find Hampton sitting in the driver’s seat of a red Cadillac sedan. McGairty immediately recognized Hampton as the driver, as he is a convicted felon out on probation and has a long history with local authorities. McGairty blocked the driveway of the home and then exited his vehicle and began to question Hampton.
After a brief interlude, Hampton apparently decided he needed to leave in a hurry and proceeded to peel out and tear across the plush lawns of three nearby homes before entering Ridge Road. The fugitive avoided several churchgoers on his path down Ridge, traversing nearly one full mile before losing control of his ride, exiting via the east shoulder of the roadway and demolishing several bushes before crashing into a deciduous tree and coming to rest facing north. According to a witness in the area, Hampton crawled through his driver’s side window and absconded east with great haste into the nearby woods.
McGairty arrived on scene seconds later and immediately began to direct the throngs of deputies and Columbus police officers who were already arriving in the area in response to the chase.
Responding agents set up a dragnet around the wooded area, but Hampton was able to work his way through the woods and elude capture. As the search was wrapping up, McGairty went back to the mangled vehicle to perform a search. Inside, on the floorboard of the driver’s seat, he discovered the likely motivation for Hampton’s flight from justice – approximately 2 ounces of “sweet” marijuana (cannabis sativa), enough to qualify as a felony.
Damien “Thug” Hampton, of Holly Springs, is considered armed and dangerous. He is known to carry automatic weapons and LCSO has asked anyone with information on his whereabouts to call E-911 or Golden Triangle Crimestoppers. Hampton has at least 11 arrests and several convictions in Lowndes County alone. He was on probation via the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). Charges on record in Lowndes County include:
• Possession of marijuana (thrice)
• Failure to yield to a blue light (thrice
• Expired license
• Possession of paraphernalia
• Resisting arrest
• Running a stop sign
• No headlights
• Domestic violence (twice)
• Sexual battery (twice)
• Careless driving
• Delivery of a controlled substance (twice)
• Armed robber (twice)
• Sale of marijuana
• Reckless driving
• Contempt of court
• Possession of cocaine (thrice)
• Failure to appear (five times)
• Violation of probation
• No insurance
• Driving on wrong side of road
• Resisting arrest (twice)
• Suspended license (twice)