An area man is in police custody and faces charges following a multi-county pursuit involving several law enforcement agencies on Tuesday.
According to Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobson, Robert Radford, 39, of Park Hills, fled from police after a traffic stop was attempted on his vehicle. The man was reportedly wanted on a parole absconder warrant out of St. Francois County and had other outstanding warrants.
A probable cause statement indicates that a Washington County deputy spotted a white Chevrolet Equinox and ran the vehicle's license plate. The plate search showed the tags on the SUV belonged to a 1998 Ford Explorer.
As the deputy passed the vehicle, the report states he positively identified the driver as Radford. The deputy then reportedly followed the vehicle in order to conduct a traffic stop.
As the driver turned right onto Highway 8 at the intersection of Bohr Road, the deputy activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to conduct the stop.
The report states that Radford failed to yield for the stop and continued eastbound at a high rate of speed. The man reportedly passed several vehicles before turning around in the middle of the two-way divided highway with a "disregard for the safety" of other motorists and proceeded westbound on Highway 8. The deputy continued chasing the Equinox as it made a right turn onto Old State Highway 8.
The vehicle eventually ran off the roadway, crashing into a ditch and striking a mailbox in the area of Hopewell Road and Highway 8. The man then reportedly fled on foot into a heavily wooded area near Cresswell Road in Washington County.
Jacobsen said after the crash, the man got a ride to the St. Francois-Washington County line, where officers from Potosi responded along with Washington and St. Francois County deputies, members of the U.S. Marshal's Task Force, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Authorities pursued Radford into St. Francois County, and after a lengthy search, he was taken into custody on the parole absconder warrant in the area of Harmon Road.
"He was taken into custody without any major incident," Jacobsen explained. "It just took a little while to locate him. He was hiding, and then he was back on foot again, and law enforcement observed him running across the road and were able to take him into custody."
Radford was transported to the Washington County Jail, and formal charges related to Tuesday's chase were filed on Thursday.
The man was charged with resisting arrest by fleeing - creating a substantial risk of serious injury/death to any person, driving while revoked/suspended, and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle displaying lights and sirens. His bond was set at $40,000 on the newly filed charges.
A search of Radford's criminal history showed multiple previous charges, including four counts of resisting/interfering with arrest, four counts of driving while revoked, armed criminal action, possession of a controlled substance, assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of second-degree domestic assault, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, third-degree assault, and first-degree kidnapping.
Editor's note: The reporter is not related to the suspect.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org