Archive for Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Mayor of Basehor helps catch suspect

October 31, 2001

When Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker heard a house alarm last Thursday afternoon, he had no idea that he soon would be involved in a chase with a burglary suspect.

"I wouldn't recommend everybody chasing a suspect, but I did," Hooker said. "My only thought was I didn't want him to get away."

Hooker, who was in the parking lot of First Baptist Church of Basehor when he heard the home alarm, and pulled in behind a car parked in a driveway in the 1400 block of 155th Street.

The driver fled, traveling over a lawn onto 155th Street.

Hooker followed.

"When we got to 24-40 highway, we were doing 50 mph, and he went through the red light," Hooker said.

Hooker followed after stopping at the light as the suspect headed east on the highway.

The man pulled over along the shoulder of the highway. At that point, Hooker called the Basehor police department.

"I told him I'm following a suspect and we're parked on 24-40 at approximately 150th Street," the mayor said.

The car took off again.

"He wasn't going fast," Hooker said. "It was not like he was trying to get away from me."

The man pulled over a second time, so Hooker again called Officer Jason Slaughter.

The suspect returned to the highway, and made a U-turn about 149th Street, heading west. Slaughter joined the chase just west of there.

"From there it was his," Hooker said. "My adrenaline was flowing, but I stayed behind him, thinking maybe I ought to tag along in case something weird happened."

Once police were behind him, the suspect sped up.

"I got out by Stranger Creek, and I was doing 85 and they were leaving me in the dust," Hooker said. "So I dropped down to the speed limit."

According to Vince Weston, Basehor police chief, the chase reached speeds up to 110 mph. Basehor police called for assistance from Tonganoxie police.

"I tried to terminate the pursuit," said Tonganoxie police Sgt. John Putthoff. "I locked him in and he bailed out on foot."

Before bailing, though, the suspect hit the side of Putthoff's patrol car near 198th Street, causing $3,000 damage.

Putthoff and Slaughter, both on foot, caught up to the suspect about a quarter-mile away.

Weston said the car the suspect was driving had been reported stolen from the Embassy Suites on the Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.

And the name the suspect gave police, Weston said, likely is an alias.

"We're still in the process of confirming that," he said.

The man was arrested on charges of burglary, theft, criminal damage to property, eluding a police officer, numerous traffic violations, obstruction of legal process and driving with a suspended license.

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