KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Neighbors in the area where a high-speed chase came to an end on Wednesday afternoon are wondering how it happened again. They said it is the second pursuit ending in a crash around their homes in the past year.
Jim Abernathy III witnessed it all on Wednesday -- and another chase this past summer near 52nd and Georgia in Kansas City, Kan. He said in the earlier chase, the driver took out a chain-link fence and two utility poles before taking off on foot.
"He jumped out of the car, started taking his clothes off and ran between this vacant lot, trying to get away, and they ended up catching him a block over," Abernathy said.
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Wednesday's chase ended in a similar fashion. Abernathy said he's not sure why his street is so popular for pursuits. He hopes the outcomes make the bad guys think twice.
"Don't come down this street, (you're not) going to get away," Abernathy said.
Thursday afternoon, the Wyandotte County District Attorney's office announced it has charged 33-year-old Rodney L. Houston of Kansas City, Kan., with one felony count of eluding a police officer. He is in the Wyandotte County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
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Police said the chase started because Houston is the suspect in several theft cases, a robbery and even another incident of eluding police in 2010.
Houston had advertised his getaway SUV on Craigslist, police said, and officers were trying to create a ruse by posing as interested buyers and meeting with him at the downtown Denny's.
Houston caught on to the trick and fled to Kansas City, Kan., speeding the wrong way down busy streets, across parking lots and a city park. His SUV finally stopped when he hit another car near 52nd and Georgia. Houston ran out of the car and hid in some bushes near a home, where police arrested him.
Houston and the person inside the car he hit were both treated for minor injuries.