A suspect who led Humboldt and Allen County officers on an eight-mile chase late Monday afternoon before crashing his vehicle remained at large today.
He is Garrett Grimm Cleaver, 26, of rural Colony.
“He is armed with an assault-type rifle and should be considered dangerous,” said Sheriff Tom Williams.
The event that led to the chase and a subsequent search in rural areas northeast of Humboldt unfolded shortly before 3:30 Monday afternoon in the 600 block of Bridge Street in Humboldt.
Humboldt officer Dustin Huff stopped a car driven by Melissa Elder, 31, Humboldt, for a traffic violation. Cleaver, a passenger, jumped from the car with the rifle in hand and sprinted around a corner and into an alley. Huff gave chase.
In the alley there was a brief confrontation that prompted Huff to call feverishly for assistance.
County deputy Jeremy Trester and Brian Dillow, Humboldt chief of police, were the first to respond.
Meanwhile, Cleaver, who is wanted on several warrants, took off again on foot, returned to the car, with Elder standing nearby.
Tina Zibung, who works at J&J Accounting in downtown Humboldt, saw Cleaver as he raced past the storefront.
“He wasn’t aiming the gun like he was ready to shoot it, but the way he was carrying it, you could tell he would shoot it if he wanted to,” Zibung said.
“He jumped in the car and took off,” with Trester and Dillow giving chase, Williams said.
Officers from Iola and the Highway Patrol also raced to Humboldt to assist.
The Garrett-driven car finally crashed near the intersection of Iowa Road and 2000 Street, about five miles northeast of Humboldt.
Williams noted Cleaver scrambled from the car, and made a point to take the rifle with him.
“I’d be interested in making sure I wasn’t injured after a wreck,” Williams said. “He was intent on taking the rifle with him.”
Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agency authorities were to have been contacted today and asked to issue a federal firearms warrant.
Officers evacuated homes in the crash area – although some residents chose to stay put – shut down roads and rerouted school buses.
“We tried to get a Highway Patrol plane with a Flare unit (infrared camera), but the weather was too bad,” Williams said.
Officers searched the area without success until dark, and by early evening they thought they had the suspect in custody after an interview with Elder gave them a name of a man in Chanute.
“It turned out to be false,” William said, which landed Elder in the Allen County Jail for obstruction.
The Chanute man, Kyle Ingles, was arrested by authorities there, and was found to be wanted on outstanding warrants.
“Anyone who assists or aids Cleaver or interferes with the investigation will be charged with obstruction,” Williams stressed.
Anyone having information helpful in Cleaver’s apprehension is urged to contact the sheriff’s office, 365-1400, or call 911.
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