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Routine traffic stop ends in car and foot pursuit

PARK HILLS – A 20-year-old Park Hills man who police say tried to hit an officer early Sunday morning with the car the suspect was driving is facing several possible charges, including attempted assault of a police officer.

What started with a routine traffic stop on St. Joe Drive shortly after midnight evolved into both a vehicular and foot pursuit. It came to a conclusion later that morning with the arrest of a suspect that police found hiding under a couch in an apartment several blocks away, according to Lt. Doug Bowles of the Park Hills Police Department.

Officer Todd Inserra pulled the car over after observing it being driven with its hazard lights flashing. While talking to the occupants, Inserra reported, the driver sped away. As he left the scene of the stop, the tires of the care spinning, the driver turned the vehicle in the direction of the officer.

The officer got back into his patrol car and gave pursuit. When the car reached the intersection of Jefferson and Sixth streets, it came to a halt. All three occupants jumped from the car and fled on foot. Inserra gave pursuit on foot but lost the suspects after they went around a building.

Bowles said when Inserra went back to secure the suspect’s vehicle, a woman came from a nearby apartment building and said it was her car. She asked what had happened. The woman told police the name of a man she said had the keys to the car, but she did not know where he was and did not know if he had been driving it.

A short time later dispatchers received a report of two males running toward a business on U.S. 67 at Rosener Road. A Desloge police officer arrived at that location and intercepted the two, one a 25-year-old man and the other a 16-year-old boy. They were identified by Inserra as the two passengers in the car he had stopped.

At the woman’s apartment, Inserra saw a picture of the man who had been driving the car. It was determined he had been staying with her but she said she did not know where he was. She denied he was in the apartment at that time.

As the investigation continued, officers went back to the apartment and again were given permission to enter. Once again, police said, the woman denied the suspect was in the apartment. Officers said she did this while sitting on the edge of the couch.

The woman gave permission to search the apartment and when officers lifted the couch they found the suspect hiding underneath it. He first came out without resistance, but officers said when they attempted to handcuff him, he struggled and had to be subdued.

It turned out, Bowles said, the suspect driver had arrest warrants pending on him from Jefferson County and also from the Division of Probation and Parole. Police are also seeking charges of attempted second-degree assault of a police officer, two counts of resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child, driving while revoked, careless and reckless driving, and providing alcohol to a minor.

Bowles said the 20-year-old woman was also arrested. Officers are seeking four counts of hindering prosecution and four counts of making false statements to police officers against the woman. Both she and the driver were placed in the County Jail at Farmington.

The adult passenger was issued summonses to municipal for supplying alcohol to a minor, resisting arrest by fleeing and an open container violation. He was released.

The juvenile was released with the understanding that a report is being presented to the Juvenile Services Office regarding the incident.

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