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Man checks himself into mental health center

LEADWOOD – A Leadwood man who led police on a high speed chase through the streets of Leadwood Monday evening checked himself into the Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center Tuesday. Leadwood Police Chief Jerrel Hollinger said the chase began at approximately 6:45 p.m. near the intersection of Pine and Burch Street.

“Leadwood Officer Josh Scherffius noticed a vehicle that had a stop and hold on it,” Hollinger said. “When Officer Scherffius attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver would not stop and a pursuit began at a high rate of speed.”

Hollinger said Scherffius lost sight of the vehicle at the sand flats in Leadwood.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, the Desloge Police Department and the Leadington Police Department assisted in the search for the vehicle. Hollinger said. “Law enforcement blocked all exits at the sand flats. A deputy with the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department had a four-wheel-drive truck and went into the sand flats.”

Hollinger said the subject’s truck was found with the keys still in the ignition.

“Several shotgun shells were inside the truck, but the subject was gone,” Hollinger said. At 11 a.m. on Tuesday I received a call that the subject was checking himself into the Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center in Farmington. I don’t know how long he will be there at this point. They would not give me anymore information.”

Hollinger said the initial stop and hold that was placed on the subject’s vehicle stemmed from a telephone conversation that took place between the subject and his ex-wife.

“The subject had called his ex-wife over some child support that was owed,” Hollinger said. “The subject made the comments that he was going to shoot his ex-wife along with any law enforcement officers that would get involved.”

Hollinger said the subject had an active warrant for his arrest for owed child support.

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