Two people are in custody tonight following a 40-mile car chase that ended when law enforcement officers pinned the suspect’s vehicle against a bridge guardrail on the southeast edge of Iola.
Allen County sheriff’s deputies said Jesse G.H. Smith, 30, Oak Grove, Mo., led officers from U.S. 69 eventually reaching downtown Iola.
The chase began when a Bourbon County sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a Pontiac G6, driven by Smith.
Rather than stopping, Smith led the deputy westbound, eventually going through Bronson and into Allen County.
As the chase entered Allen County, Moran Police Chief Shane Smith was waiting. He laid out a line of spikes, blowing two of the tires on the suspect’s vehicle.
As the chase continued west, Allen County Sheriff’s Deputy Daren Kellerman then deployed another line of spikes, blowing out a third tire, near the intersection of 54 and 2800 Street, just east of LaHarpe.
“If you want to see where the chase went, just follow the white marks,” Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy said. With three tires blown, the rubber long had been shredded away, leaving only rims, leaving
The car emitted a shower of sparks and dust as it barrelled through Iola, at speeds of up to 45 mph.
Smith continued westbound, into Iola, where he made it to the courthouse square before heading north on Jefferson Avenue and into Highland Cemetery.
“The Sheriff’s and Police Chief (Jared Warner’s) sole concern from there was to force him back out of town, to keep everybody safe,” Kellerman said. “There were bad things just waiting to happen, but what could you do?”
As officers unsuccessfully tried to corner his vehicle in the cemetery, Smith headed onto Cottonwood, south and east through the Meadowbrook residential area and eastbound on Buchanan, eventually making it onto Kentucky Street, and then south onto Nevada Road.
Even then, as a caravan of officers had Smith’s car surrounded,he still did all he could to evade arrest, the sheriff said, including veering over into sheriff’s vehicles.
He struck at least one of the pursuing vehicles, Murphy said. “And he tried to get me a couple of times.”
The chase ended as officers forced the Pontiac to stop alongside a guardrail to the Rock Creek bridge.
“We kept making the path narrower for him until he had to stop,” Murphy said.
Still, Smith did not give up easily.
With at least six officers outside the car, guns drawn, Smith refused to exit the vehicle, and even still had his foot fully depressed on the accelerator, kicking up dirt and rocks behind the stopped vehicle.
The sheriff used a baton to break open the driver’s window, and then reached in and put the car in park, although Smith continued to resist arrest, Murphy said.
“We had to extract him forcefully,” he said, including use of a Taser.
A female passenger, Anya G. Sackett, 25, Topeka, also was taken into custody, but did not resist arrest. Both remain in Allen County Jail this evening.
The vehicle reportedly was hers, deputies said.
Deputies are still configuring reports, but said they planned to request charges of battery on law enforcement and driving while revoked charges be filed against Smith.
“I’m sure Bourbon County has charges for him, too,” Murphy said.
Smtih reportedly had recently been released from prison.
An ambulance was dispatched to the scene after the chase ended, but was not needed, Murphy said.