Area law enforcement were seeking an area man after he led police on a second pursuit just days after one in Bonne Terre.
Dustin Parker, 29, of Bonne Terre, was wanted on several felony warrants and will be facing even more charges after he led police on a high-speed pursuit Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday, St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said Parker is now in custody after Arkansas State Police picked him up.
“We just received word that he is in custody in Arkansas and they are sitting roadside with him as we speak,” said Bullock. “We will extradite him. He will have the opportunity to sign an extradition ...
“If he doesn’t (sign), then we will apply for a governor's warrant out of Arkansas and get him shipped back to us,” said Bullock. “This is how it is anytime they cross state line. The governor’s warrant is between our governor and their governor. It takes about 90 days, so it would be better if he just signed it to get it done.”
St. Francois County Lt. Randy Tate said an off-duty deputy positively identified Parker, who was driving an older model one-ton flatbed truck Monday afternoon and knew he had felony warrants.
“We had actually gotten into a pursuit with him the other night in Bonne Terre,” said Tate. “She called another officer, who was on duty, and he was in the area and was able to get over there and behind his vehicle.”
Tate said the deputy tried to initiate a stop outside of Park Hills and that was when Parker took off again.
St. Francois County Deputy Gary Lynn Gerstenschlager said the pursuit started on Davis Crossing Road and made a right onto Mitchell Road.
“He then took Mitchell to Old 8 and then made a right onto Maple Street off Old 8,” said Gerstenschlager. “He took Maple to Highway 8 and made a right heading towards Washington County. He took Highway 8 up to Route M, then all the way to Route BB.”
He said Parker then turned onto Old Irondale Road and took that to Highway 32. He went down to a right on Old Bismarck and took that to Route B.
“He then went back toward Highway 32 and made a left, he took Highway 32 to Oakwood Drive,” said Gerstenschlager. “They laid spikes strips on Highway 32 near Ellis Road as he was going towards Old Bismarck. That was why he turned onto Old Bismarck - to avoid the spike strips. Then when he got back on Highway 32 they laid the spike strips down again at Ellis Road and he went around them and avoided them.”
Gerstenschlager said on Oakwood Drive is a private lake with a private gate and he was evidently on the phone with someone and they opened it for him.
“We all got through the gate and followed him up to another private road where it dead-ended and he drove his truck into the woods,” said Gerstenschlager. “He must have not been able to get the truck to go any further, so he bailed and took off running.”
Tate reiterated that an individual was there to open the gate for him and got out of his way so he could get into the gated community.
“While officers were trying to catch him, they were dodging stuff,” said Tate. “When they were pursuing him there was stuff flying out of the back of the truck. He wasn’t actually throwing anything, it was stuff he was losing off the bed of the truck. The officers were dodging that and still trying to maintain themselves to get him pulled over.”
Tate said at one point he thought Parker tried to ram one of the officers who was trying to get ahead of him. Also, one of the items fell out and damaged two patrol cars.
“There was a can of blue paint that fell out and busted on the road getting on two or three of the cars,” Tate explained. “One car had two tires damaged.”
Gerstenschlager said he was the officer Parker tried to run off the road, not once, but twice. He said at the beginning of the pursuit on Mitchell Road he tried to get in front of him and Parker swerved trying to run him off the road.
“Then on Highway 32 just before we turned onto Oakwood, I was on the side of him trying to pass him and he was pushing me off the road,” said Gerstenschlager. “Fortunately he never made contact with my vehicle. I kept my distance from his vehicle. I never gave him an opportunity.”
Tate said when Parker bailed from the car he was ahead enough that the officers called in the K9, but before the K9 could find him he lost the trail because of the weather. He said they tried talking to the suspect's mother, because when he had jumped out of the vehicle he had a dog in there.
“We had to take custody of the animal to protect it and we released the animal to his mother,” said Tate. “We are also working on another case. We believe Parker stole a side-by-side a short distance from where the pursuit was earlier in the day. A neighbor tried stopping the individual because he knew it was the neighbor's side-by-side. He identified this kid again on it and he went and ditched it. I guess he called a buddy for a ride.”
Tate said when they got out there the side-by-side was abandoned in the middle of the road.