FARMINGTON — While much of Thursday was spent with emergency workers dealing with flooding concerns across the region, the Farmington Police got an early start on the day with a pursuit that eventually involved several departments and ended about 40 miles from where it started.
A 32-year-old Fredericktown man faces a list of charges including stealing a motor vehicle, driving while revoked and resisting arrest. It’s likely additional charges could be filed by other police departments involved in bringing the man under control.
The incident started in Farmington at about 9:45 a.m. when an officer was dispatched to a parking lot off Holly Tree Lane on the northwest edge of the community. Someone had reported a black car sitting on the parking lot and said the driver seemed to be incoherent.
A responding officer went to the area and found a black Chevrolet Malibu sitting off the road. He tapped on the driver’s side window and eventually got the attention of the man sitting behind the steering wheel. The man briefly acknowledged the officer’s presence, then put the car in reverse and tried to drive away.
As the officer called in the incident, the driver put the car in drive and pulled onto Holly Tree Lane, then turned north onto Woodlawn Drive.
With the officer following close behind with his car’s lights and siren on, the driver of the black car continued north to Leadington, then exited onto U.S. 67. Once on the highway he continued heading north. As he passed through the city of Bonne Terre he drove past waiting police cars and reportedly nearly struck a police officer.
At Old Orchard Road, the driver being pursued exited and turned onto State Route K. With officers following, the man’s car reached speeds of only about 70 m.p.h., but he refused to stop. Eventually he ended up on State Route C, where when he crossed into Ste. Genevieve County and was met by a deputy with a set of spike strips already stretched across the road.
The strips deflated the driver side tires on the car, but the man continued down the road. So another set of spike strips were laid out, this time deflating the car’s two remaining tires.
Chief of Police Rick Baker said the car came to a stop near State Route 32. Police ordered the driver to exit the car. He refused, and after a brief struggle he was subdued and handcuffed. The car was confiscated and transported back to the police station in Farmington.
No illegal substances were found in the car. Baker said officers questioned why the man would run if he wasn’t carrying anything illegal or wanted on warrants. A record check showed the man’s drivers license were revoked.
Then a short time later it was discovered the car had apparently been stolen from the Fredericktown area hours earlier. The owner told police he had met the 32-year-old man previously, but hadn’t seen him recently.
No one was injured in the chase.