ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
At least one law enforcement officer was treated for minor injuries and two patrol cars received significant damage while pursuing a fleeing suspect driving a pickup truck through the streets of Hillsboro Monday night.
Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning said around 9 p.m., an officer was called to a domestic disturbance in the 300 block of North Ash, where a suspect was “violently breaking things” and had assaulted at least one person.
Kinning said the suspect threatened to kill any law enforcement officer who would attempt to intervene.
The suspect then left the scene driving a pickup, but was spotted by a sheriff’s deputy on Ash Street. The officer attempted to stop the truck, but the suspect made a wide turn in the street and struck the patrol car with the vehicle.
The suspect then drove east on D Street while additional officers attempted to box in the vehicle and stop it. At that time the suspect struck the rear of Kinning’s vehicle.
As the vehicles approached Industrial Road on the east edge of town, the suspect swerved his pickup into the left lane with oncoming traffic approaching.
At that point, Kinning said, one of the pursuing officers attempted a “pit maneuver,” striking the pickup with the patrol car in an attempt to stop it.
Kinning said the pickup spun around, drove through the ditch and headed back into town, where spectators, particularly Tabor College students, were gathering along D Street.
Kinning said before the pickup could endanger spectators, officers decided to strike and stop the pickup with their vehicles. The pickup was struck around D and Wilson streets, where it spun up on the sidewalk and was boxed in by the pursuing officers.
Kinning said the suspect, who was not identified pending charges, was arrested and taken first to Hillsboro Community Medical Center’s psychiatric unit because he was threatening suicide.
He was later transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Wichita for treatment of a preexisting problem, not for any injuries received in the chase.
Kinning said Monday night one officer received medical attention at the scene but was not seriously injured. He said he believed the sheriff’s patrol car may be totaled and that his car received about $1,000 to $1,500 in damage.
“Everything turned out all right,” Kinning said. “This is the kind of thing you expect to see in Los Angeles, but not in Hillsboro.”
Kinning said he was going to make his case for filing charges on Tuesday morning. Once charges are filed, the suspect’s name would be released.