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Lumberton Ledger




Physical Address:

1238 S. Main

Lumberton, Texas 77657


Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 8031

Lumberton, Texas 77657


Phone: 409-751-5334







© 2019 by Lumberton Ledger

Deputies arrest gunman following two-county car chase

June 26, 2019


A Sunday morning pursuit and manhunt ended around 5 a.m., in Kountze, when a Jefferson County man ditched his vehicle and tried to evade law officers in the thicket.
The chase began when Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to make a welfare check at the residence of Michael John Ritsema, 44, of Beaumont.
Officers received a report that Ritsema, a veteran suffering PTSD, was intoxicated and had shot his dog.
Upon arrival, Jefferson County Deputies attempted to speak to Ritsema, who fled from them leading them in a two-county car chase.
Department of Public Safety Officers, Kountze Police, and Hardin County Sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit.
During the chase, Ritsema is said to have fired at least three shots at officers on Hwy 326. 
Authorities spiked his tires at Hwy 69 and Williford Road, in Kountze, and Ritsema abandoned the vehicle.
A foot-chase ensued involving a Jefferson County SWAT unit, multiple local agencies, search dogs, and a helicopter for several hours.
Residents of the area were contacted and told to shelter-in-place. Ritsema was found and taken into custody at 4:30 a.m.
He is charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer and evading arrest with a vehicle. Ritsema’s bond is $40,000, although he is detained currently on a mental health hold.
No officers were injured in the incident.

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