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Weber testifies in favor of pursuit bill as fleeing suspects multiply

PECULIAR – Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in a harrowing pursuit Friday morning after a suspect in sports utility vehicle fleed from Harrisonville officers after a suspected shoplifting incident at Sutherlands in Harrisonville.

On Monday, Cass County Sheriff Jeff Weber testified at the State Capitol in Jefferson City on important legislation that will help me keep Cass County safe. House Bill 1620, sponsored by Representative Jeff Shawan, Poplar Bluff, seeks to make resisting arrest by fleeing in a vehicle, a felony, every time, not just when someone is injured or killed. This legislation will help keep career criminals off the streets. “I would like to thank our local Representatives, Jack Bondon, Mike Haffner and Donna Pfautsch for co-sponsoring this bill. They are true friends to public safety and provide common sense leadership at the Capitol for their districts,” Weber said.
Courtesy photo

Deputies located a white GMC Terrain that matched the description of the suspect vehicle on M-7 Highway getting onto northbound Interstate 49 in Harrisonville. Deputies attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, but the driver failed to stop.

Deputies pursued the suspect vehicle north on I-49 at a high rate of speed. The Peculiar Police Department attempted to place a tire deflation device on I-49, but the suspect vehicle exited off the interstate at State Route J.

The suspect vehicle went north on State Route J and attempted to turn south on the Southeast Outer Road. The suspect vehicle struck a stopped Peculiar Police Department patrol car and continued southbound on the outer road. Deputies continued to pursue the suspect vehicle south on the outer road until it went off and became stuck in the snow.

The driver fled the scene on foot and ran south across both lanes of I-49. A citizen driving by observe the suspect fleeing from law enforcement. The citizen stopped his vehicle and gave chase on foot of the suspect. The suspect stopped and surrendered to the citizen. Deputies took the driver into custody. A passenger was taken into custody in the vehicle.

“Pursuits are very dangerous. That is why I was at the Capitol in Jefferson City this week testifying on House Bill 1620 to increase the penalty for fleeing in a motor vehicle from a misdemeanor to a felony. We are thankful that the Peculiar Officer’s injuries were not life threatening and we hope for a speedy recovery,” said Sheriff Jeff Weber.

House Bill 1620, sponsored by State Rep. Jeff Shawan, Poplar Bluff, is co-sponsored by State Reps Donna Pfautsch of Harrisonville, Mike Haffner of Pleasant Hill and Jack Bondon of Belton.

“They are true friends to public safety and provide common sense leadership at the Capitol for their districts,” Weber said.

The driver and passenger in Friday’s pursuit are currently being held at the Cass County Jail pending charges. The officer with the Peculiar Police Department was transported to an area hospital for treatment.


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