Citizen helps Cass County authorities catch shoplifting suspects during chase

Peculiar officer injured in crash during pursuit
Cass County Chase.jpg
Citizen helps Cass County authorities catch shoplifting suspects during chase
Posted at 11:41 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 16:46:29-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATE: 12:15 p.m. Feb. 15: The Cass County Sheriff's Department said Austin Calvert, 21 from Freeman, Missouri, the driver of the fleeing vehicle, has been charged with one county of resisting/interfering with arrest for a felony. His bond has been set at $10,000 cash only.

Ashley Alvarado, 26, from El Dorado Springs, Missouri, a passenger in the vehicle has been charged with one count of resisting/interfering with an arrest, with a $4,000 (10 percent cash-only bond).

Additional charges might still be forthcoming.

A Peculiar, Missouri, police officer was taken to the hospital after a suspect fleeing authorities in a vehicle crashed into a patrol car.

According to the Cass County Sheriff's Office, Harrisonville police were responding to a shoplifting incident at Sutherlands when the suspect took off at a high rate of speed.

Cass County deputies joined Harrisonville’s search for the suspect just before 10:30 a.m., and located the white GMC Terrain on Missouri 7 turning onto northbound Interstate 49.

The driver did not pull over when deputies attempted a traffic stop.

Deputies pursued the suspect along I-49, where Peculiar officers tried to deploy stop sticks, but he suspect exited on Missouri J and headed north.

As the suspect headed attempted a turn onto Southeast Outer Road, the fleeing vehicle crashed into a stopped Peculiar patrol car with an officer inside.

The officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The officer's condition was not immediately known.

The suspect eventually crashed into a ditch then took off on foot, running across both lanes of I-49 at one point.

A private citizen driving in the area saw law enforcement chasing the suspect, stopped his car and started chasing the suspect himself.

The suspect stopped and surrendered to the citizen, Cass County Sheriff’s Lt. Ben Barbarick said.

Deputies then took the suspect into custody.

A passenger in the suspect vehicle also was taken into custody.

“Pursuits are very dangerous," Cass County Sheriff Jeff Weber said in a statement about the incident. "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."

The driver and passenger are being held at the Cass County Jail, pending charges.