Archive for Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Police use helicopter in chase

February 21, 2007

Eudora Police say they knew the man who fled from them late Monday night. They just couldn't catch him.

Neither could any other officers Monday night, as the fleeing suspect concealed himself in woods and grasslands around the Kansas Turnpike .

"We were familiar with him," Eudora Police Chief Greg Dahlem said. "We were trying to help out Johnson County," where the man was wanted.

Between police tearing up tires on spiked "stop strips,"blowing engines and getting rammed with the suspect's car, the man escaped police pursuit until being spotted Tuesday morning near the Kansas Turnpike southeast of Tonganoxie. A helicopter aided in the capture.

By Tuesday afternoon, James L. Anderson, 25, was booked into Leavenworth County Jail for suspicion of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, criminal damage and for two failure to appear warrants from Johnson County.

The pursuit began in Eudora when police there saw Anderson's Ford Taurus and tried to pull him over, Dahlem said.

Anderson then led the officer into southern Leavenworth County along County Road 1, where police laid down spike strips to try to slow Anderson's car.

Anderson avoided the strips. The Eudora officer didn't, blowing out a tire, Dahlem said.

Tonganoxie Police picked up the chase there, with Anderson leading police along U.S. 24-40 until turning south along 206th Street, Tonganoxie dispatcher Mike Vestal said.

But somewhere along the way, just before the chase turned onto mud-soaked Douglas Road, the suspect's car blew an engine, Tonganoxie Police said.

Anderson apparently didn't get far. When the road switched to mud about a half-mile down, Anderson allegedly turned around in a driveway and drove back toward the pursuing officers, ramming one car nearly-head on before getting out of his car and fleeing on foot.

After a brief foot chase into the foliage near the Kansas Turnpike, Tonganoxie officers called it off. It was close to midnight.

Then, just after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, someone spotted a man soaking in mud walking near the Turnpike. A Kansas Highway Patrol helicopter found the man and tracked him, eventually landing so troopers and Leavenworth County Sheriff's deputies could make the arrest near Woodend Road.

Anderson's original warrants were for failure to appear in traffic court for speeding and driving while suspended.

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